Last Week Of Term

We have had a wonderful activities week as we prepare for the summer holidays!

On Tuesday we enjoyed an Orchard Brae ‘Proms In The Park’. Unfortunately, the weather meant that we couldn’t enjoy a picnic outside but as you can see from the video below, everyone had a great time listening to the live music provided by the Fyvie Folk Club.

On Thursday, we all took part in our Animal Themed Sports Day. Use the QR code or link below to view a Thinglink showing all the fun!

And finally we would like to wish you all a very happy and relaxed summer holiday. Have lots of fun and we can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to what you’ve been up to when we return in August!

Drake Music

Abi Sinar, a musician with Drake Music, has been working with students at Orchard Brae for the last two years, even throughout lockdowns, in developing the North East Digital Orchestra project. The ultimate goal of the project is to create a digital orchestra for school leavers and young adults, enabling them to develop their musical skills and create new music using a range of inclusive music technologies.

Pupils who have been involved in the project have been supported by Abi to develop their musical skills using a variety of accessible instruments and have created this video for you to enjoy, where they play Ode To Joy as well as their own additional compositions to the song.

Many thanks to Abi for her support and in making the film. If you would like to find out more about Drake Music and their work, please follow the link below:

Music Therapy at Orchard Brae

There are a variety of musical experiences on offer throughout the school week.  We are delighted to announce that for the second year running we have a Musician in Residence from Drake Music Scotland, who is supporting secondary pupils to develop digital music skills.  We have weekly drumming sessions in class and individual lessons with Keith from Rhythmbox and we also have our Music therapist from ELM Music Therapy delivering individual sessions.  Below is a quote from Emmeline explaining what can be achieved through music therapy.  And we have a selection of happy and engaged pupils clearly enjoying their music therapy sessions. 

“I aim to support the pupils to make meaningful musical interactions through the use of instruments, voice, movement and more, to interact and communicate regardless of ‘musical ability’. Within the music therapy sessions, I take a pupil-centred approach where musical improvisation and active music making are the predominant therapeutic intervention methods. 

The music therapy sessions can create a safe space for pupils to express themselves and to develop language, communication skills, movement, fine and gross motor skills or to help with emotional regulation. Often the music therapy space can create opportunities for spontaneous learning and an outlet for emotions.”

Budding photographers

Last year, Room 19 entered the ‘My Place Photography Competition’. Pupils were encouraged through the competition to explore their surroundings and share photographs. Room 19’s photos are being displaying in a public exhibition, you can see their photos here:

The group took photos in school and out in the community using iPads.

I am sure you will agree there are some fantastic photos in the group.

Well done to all

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:

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)