This year we have a new class, Room 19. In Room 19 we are Senior Phase pupils (S4-6) and we are following a timetable that will allow us to progress on to the learning experiences offered in Howes Hoose, our Leavers Class.
Our learning focuses on developing independence and life skills. In our morning meeting, we chat about our day and our targets. We also practise life skills through setting the table, preparing snacks and tidying up. We take turns following a rota for chores.
We are often out and about in and around school. Our literacy and communication skills are being developed through our newspaper, the Haddo Herald, a joint venture with Howes Hoose. Some of us write the news and we use it to practise talking to others and asking questions. Going around classes to deliver the paper helps us to communicate with less familiar people and to practise using equipment such as our talkers.
Our numeracy skills are developed through wider learning opportunities such as our sandwich enterprise. We go shopping for ingredients and this lets us practise our money skills, as does managing our budget and payments. We also work on time and think about this in relation to our daily routines.
Some of us are also doing work experience this year. This begins in school with opportunities such as supporting younger pupils in Outdoor Education. We also have a young man working regularly in the school kitchen, preparing food and doing dishes and we have young people doing grass cutting, gardening and working in community centres and shops.
We think it will be a good year in Room 19!
Pinnacle Fitness contacted us to share information on their Fitness Academy sessions for people with additional learning needs. These are for secondary age pupils.
The pupils in Howes Hoose enjoyed a day out at Knockburn Loch, open–water swimming. The weather was kind to us but the water was still a little chilly!! We had on wet-suits to keep us warm and buoyancy aids to keep us afloat! We swam all the way around the Loch, 850 metres. It was an amazing experience, “ the best day of my life so far,” according to one young man.
The facilities at Knockburn are excellent and I am sure we will be visiting again soon to take advantage of all the other activities on offer, maybe paddle boarding next. Watch this space!
Everyone enjoyed the Potted Sports organised by our PE Department on Wednesday. Thank you to everyone involved for the hard work that went into this, including our Howes Hoose pupils who supported at the stations. We all had a great time moving around in our class groups, finishing up with a running ‘marathon’ for any Secondary pupils wishing to participate. They were well supported by those opting to spectate.
A combination of Room 18 and Howes Hoose pupils recently went to Bendrigg in the Lake District. They all had a fantastic time, practising their independent living skills and taking part in a wide range of outdoor activities including caving, canoeing, zip sliding and climbing. We did ourselves proud – staff included – pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones and trying new activities. Quote of the week: “it’s been nice knowing you,” as one young man zipped off down the slide!
The pupils from Howes Hoose successfully completed their final expedition for their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. They spent 2 days at Wiston Lodge set in the beautiful countryside beside Biggar, staying in log cabins which were warm and comfortable. Just what they needed after spending lots of time outdoors in the lovely Scottish Summer weather! There was also a kitchen cabin where the young people prepared their own breakfast and packed lunches, and this cabin was used to chill in their PJs with a hot chocolate before bed.
All the pupils participated fully in all the activities despite the cold and damp weather. They cooked a meal for themselves outside on the first night and walked over 4 kilometres through the hills the following day. Thankfully the torrential rain forecast passed by and, although not sunny, it was dry. Everyone, especially Al, our D of E Assessor, was pleased with the way the pupils all worked as a team, helping each other over fences and gates, guarding against cows and generally keeping each other going. It was a brilliant trip.
Pupils and staff also enjoyed some outdoor activity around the Lodge, walking the trails and practising their route finding skills using the landmarks we’d seen. The second day saw us treated to a cooked dinner, with breakfast in the Lodge at the end of our stay.
The completion of the expedition, added to the other sections of the Duke of Edinburgh programme –fundraising, volunteering and learning a physical skill – means that all the “Howes Hoose Heroes” have now achieved the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. Huge congratulations to them all and a special thank you to the PSA staff and Toby from D of E who supported them throughout the training and expeditions.
On Friday 3rd of May our merry band set off from Kingswells to walk back to school, a distance of 6km. We were expecting the weather to be wild and interesting with a touch of hail. As it turned out the weather was more than kind and we had an absolutely fabulous day. The hail did come but only once we were safely back at base with a nice cup of tea! The whole class were amazing, not one grumble, no sore feet and everyone managed to cook themselves a tasty lunch although Barry’s pudding of Mars Bar followed by half a tin of sweetcorn might not be to everyone’s taste! A huge thank you to Toby from Duke of Edinburgh for supporting us and a very huge well done to all the pupils (and staff) in Howes Hoose for their achievement. Next stop Wiston Lodge on the 12th-14th June for the final push towards our Bronze Award.
Room 18 continue to expand their horizons with new work experience opportunities. We now have a young person working in the kitchen on Thursday mornings, supporting the catering team with food preparation and serving at lunchtime. We have young people working with our Janitor, and we continue other jobs around the school including watering the plants and recycling. Our Sandwich Enterprise continues and we provide a great service for staff on Tuesdays, making and delivering sandwiches.
Aside from hard work, we do enjoy opportunities to relax during break and lunchtime. Finding the balance in life is good!
In Howes Hoose, our work with Daniel from Aberdeen City Council Parks Department has continued. As part of our SQA Personal Achievement Award we are working on a Community Activity. With support and guidance from Daniel, we are working to develop our school garden and grounds. We’ve been extremely busy and have planted 3600 seeds! We have planted peas, beans, pumpkins, radishes and cornflowers. We look forward to seeing them brighten things up and tasting our wares when they are ready!
We are pleased to announce that a pupil from Howes Hoose has been appointed Environmental Officer for the school. He will be responsible for monitoring the litter in the school playground, in the Community and in the wider Community of Aberdeen, a big job. We have already noticed some fly-tipping in the area which will be reported to the Council.
Please help us to look after our environment!
We went to visit the fantastic recycling facilities in Aberdeen. We would like to encourage you all to reduce your waste, re-use items or give them to someone who can re-use them like a Charity Shop, or recycle them. Thank you.