Reconnecting in Secondary

We’ve been very happy to see the majority of our secondary pupils returning over the last couple of weeks. Pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with staff in school and see some of their friends again. Staff have been delighted to welcome pupils back and to return to some semblance of our normal routine. We do hope this will continue after the holiday, but as detailed in the letter from our Chief Education Officer, we have to await further guidance on next steps.

We’ve been very busy in the time that we’ve been back in school. Here is a selection of what we’ve been doing:

Learning Outdoors

We’ve been making the most of the good weather and enjoying learning in the fresh air. Some of us have enjoyed local walks and outdoor play.

Others have been busy in the grounds with gardening and litter picking. Room 14 particularly enjoyed the litter pick.

Health and Wellbeing

It has been great to see so many of our young people observing the safety rules around school. We’ve all become increasingly independent in maintaining good hand hygiene. Target work has continued and we have also been working on our ASDAN units. We’ve also had lots of fun!

Working Hard

We’ve been delighted with how well our pupils have settled back into their routines. Lots of learning is taking place, with good use being made of games and technology.

Who could fail to be happy to return when learning is so much fun?

If you’d like to engage in some messy activities at home our advice is:

Take it outside OR get your child involved in the tidying! It’s never too early to work on independent living skills.

Qualifications in the Senior Phase

Our senior phase pupils have continued working towards their ASDAN and SQA qualifications and we thank everyone that has supported in this during our period of remote learning. Room 19 have been successfully working on SQA Science: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. They’ve created some beautiful instruments.

Happy Holidays!

While some pupils have just returned to school, others have been supported throughout the lockdown period. We’ve had lots of learning going on remotely and thank all parents, carers and staff for supporting our pupils with this. In speaking with families, I know that there have been differing levels of engagement for a host of reasons, and we would like to thank all of you for the support you’ve given during this challenging time. Google Classrooms will remain ‘open’ should you wish to make use of activities during the holidays, but please do take a break if you can, relax, enjoy time outdoors, and focus on well-being.

Kiltwalk 2021

On Friday 23rd April, Orchard Brae will participate in some fun Kiltwalk activities. Pupils and staff will be dancing and walking, along with potentially other fun activities. Pupils can wear something tartan to school that day if they wish. There is no expectation of fundraising or donations.

However, if anyone is keen to fundraise, Friends of Orchard Brae still have Kiltwalk places available for both adults and children to help raise money to further develop our Outdoor Learning Area. Registration for these places is free and if interested please e-mail:

All money raised through this year’s Kiltwalk will be topped up with an additional 50% from The Hunter Foundation.

Home Economics Activities

Today is St David’s Day, the Patron Saint of Wales and to help you celebrate we have a range of Welsh inspired recipes for you to try at home.

Here are some activities to help you learn about St David.

CBeebies – Preparing For St David’s Day

CBeebies – Celebrating St David’s Day

CBeebies – Story Of St David

Welsh Rarebit Muffins

Chilli Cheese Toast Rarebit

Cheese And Tomato Toasties

We would love to see how you get on with you Home Economics activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)

Horizons Youth Dance Company

Horizons Youth Dance Company are looking for new members to join a free dance company for young people aged 12 – 19 years with and without disabilities.

There is a free open creative dance workshop on Tuesday 16 March 5 – 7pm online where you will be able to see performances from the three Horizons Youth Dance Companies from Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow, join in a workshop with them and ask questions to the tutors or existing members.

For more information, go to the website:

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.

Art Activities

What Happens To Flour When We Make Salt Dough?

This week we are continuing to use flour in our artwork by making salt dough and using it to get creative! As always remember that the process is the main focus rather than the finished artwork.

Remember to warm up your hands and eyes beforehand using some of the exercises we’ve practised before! This activity has been split into three levels focusing of different skills and levels of ability. Choose the one that is right for your learner but feel free the experiment and explore! Salt dough is a fairly crude material so make your work quite chunky don’t expect it to hold fine details or stay intact if it is very thin!

To make your salt dough, you will need:

  • 2 cups of plain four
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water

Mix the flour, salt and water in a bowl. If your mixture is too dry, you can add a bit more water or if it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour. Use your hands to knead and roll the dough until it is smooth. The salt dough will keep for several days if it is wrapped in cling film or placed in a sealed bag.

Stage 1: At this stage we are looking for the pupils to show a simple response or reaction as they explore the salt dough used in this week’s flour art. With hand over hand support from an adult, explore the texture and consistency of the salt dough. Can you squash and squeeze it? Can you roll it or pinch it? Try to use your fingers and hands to make prints in the salt dough or even add some food colouring for a more colourful experience.

Stage 2: With appropriate support, use your hands to manipulate the salt dough. Can you roll out the dough and cut out different shapes using either cutters or a knife? Can you use different objects to make impressions in the salt dough? Be as creative as you like but you could try forks, spoons, or sticks. You could also add some food colouring to you salt dough to really make your artwork stand out!

Stage 3: For this stage you will explore how to use the salt dough to create a 3 dimensional model. Can you use your hands or maybe even different tools to mould to salt dough? You could try making a bowl based on things you see in nature, such as a leaf or maybe even a model of an animal. Get creative and use your imagination. Once your model is finished, leave it to dry for several days or put into a very low oven to harden.

Extension: You can also use flour to make papier mache models. To create your papier mache model you will need:

  • old newspapers, comics or magazines, cut up or torn into strips or squares
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1 cup of warm water, plus a little extra tap water for loosening
  • Wire or cardboard to make a frame for your model
  • Paintbrush

Make a basic frame for your model using garden wire or cardboard.

Mix the flour and warm water in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add extra tap water a little at a time to loosen. You want a smooth, batter-like paste with no lumps. You can sift the flour first for a smoother finish.

Cover your work area in more old newspaper. Dip the paper strips in the paste, wipe off the excess on the side of the bowl and stick onto your frame. Use a paintbrush to smooth down the paper and remove any air bubbles or excess paste. Repeat to cover and leave to dry before adding further layers.

Once you are happy with your model, you can decorate it using any media you like!

If you are looking for some inspiration, you can look up images of Alebrijes on the internet. Alebrijes are brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantasy or mythical creatures. The first alebrijes, along with invention of the term, originated in Mexico City with the artist Pedro Linares. Linares often said that in the 1930s, he fell very ill, and while he was in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange place resembling a forest. There, he saw trees, animals, rocks, clouds that suddenly turned into something strange, some kind of animals, but, unknown animals. He saw a donkey with butterfly wings, a rooster with bull horns, a lion with an eagle head, and all of them were shouting one word, “¡Alebrijes!, ¡Alebrijes!”. Once he recovered he began recreating models of the creatures he saw.

Please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)

Home Economics Activities

These week we have a range of different activities for you to try at home, all based around pasta!

How is pasta made?

Pasta Rap Song

How To Cook Pasta In A Microwave

Birds Nest Spaghetti

BBC Good Food Spaghetti Carbonara

BBC Microwave Spaghetti Bolognaise

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Symbol Supported Recipe – Pasta In A Tomato Sauce

Home Economics Activities

This week we have a variety of pancake recipes for you to try at home to help you celebrate Pancake Day.

NLC Symbol Supported Pancake Recipe

CBeebies Perfect Pancake Recipe

CBBC Sweet Pancake Recipe

You might also enjoy this pancake day song from CBeebies…

…or why not take part in the Blue Peter pancake flip challange!

We would love to see how you get on with you Home Economics activities so please feel free to share any photos or videos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary)

Hard at Work and Play in Secondary

There’s been lots of work going on in Secondary over the last couple of weeks. It’s good to see pupils continuing to to work towards ASDAN awards and SQA qualifications while learning remotely. There have also been some very successful Google Meets and I know the staff involved in these have very much enjoyed seeing you all!

We have one young lady who working on SQA: Looking After Animals. She is taking good care of her new kitten.

We have pupils working on SQA Leisure Time Activities. This supports us in trying out new activities alongside engaging in things we already know and enjoy.

We’ve also been keeping fit, both indoors and out. There is a great range of activities in the PE Google Classroom. Please do pop in for a look if you’ve not already done so. Throwing and catching has been practised this week.

Life Skills and Independence

We continue to work on our life skills and independence. We’ve been baking: scones, a rainbow cake and savoury pancakes are a few of the recipes we’ve tried. Cooking and baking are great ways to practice our numeracy skills.

Assembly ‘Homework’

Our Secondary Assembly theme was ‘Love’ and we’ve now been tasked with showing love for someone over the next two weeks. This can take many forms: doing something to help someone else, being kind to someone, doing something that someone else enjoys, or for our staff and parents, showing yourself some kindness and taking a bit of time for you!

Following our previous Assembly where we had a theme of ‘Express Yourself’ in line with Children’s Mental Health Week, we enjoyed seeing photos of how others have done this.

Reading and Relaxing at Home

Being Creative through Art and Music

Enjoying Time Outdoors

Outdoor Education Activities

Given the current weather situation, here are a few snow and ice activities for you to try at home!

Ice Sun Catcher:

Snow Games:

This website has some great activities and games for you to enjoy playing in the snow

Active for Life – Games To Play In The Snow

Winter Scavenger Hunt:

Science Experiments:

CBeebies – Ice Cool Skates

BBC Bitesize – Ice Sculptures

BBC Bitesize – Snow, Ice and Water

Science Sparks – Ice Decorations

Snow Volcano Experiment

Ice Luminaries:


Mark Making:

Another great website which gives you different ideas on mark making activities in the snow.  

Mark Making


10 Sparkly Snowflakes written by Tiger Tales

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Snow Penguin written by Tony Mitten

Singing Hands: Winter Clothes