Outdoor Learning does water play

Over the last few weeks classes have been exploring water in Outdoor Education lessons.  We have poured, splashed, sprayed, puddled about and giggled.  Everyone found a way to play with water that they enjoyed.  Throwing large bucket of water around the playground and watching it fall and then make a loud splat noise was the grand finale for most classes. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed playing with water.

Redecorating Room 14

The boys of Room 14 have settled back to school well but our classroom was a wee bit boring. 

So what to do?

Create some art and make the class our own. Here are some pictures of the boys creating their very own coats of arms to decorate the class and make it their own.

They have also been busy picking, planting and watering the tatties in the polytunnel so tasty tattie treats are on the way!

Outdoor Learning this year

This term the Outdoor Learning Team will be focusing on Health and Wellbeing Curricular areas.  So far pupils have been exploring the playground and reacquainting themselves with the sights, smells, sounds and equipment.

Learning tasks will be playground based and will include loose parts play and water play.  Your child’s teacher will let you know which day they have outdoor education.  The aim is to use outdoor spaces as much as possible and having waterproof and or warm clothing will be essential

Tree Planting in Outdoor Education

We were very grateful to have trees given to us by the Woodland Trust. We have planted these at the front of the school to create our very own orchard. Thanks to Sharon for supporting us with this project, and for all the hard work she’s put into Outdoor Education this session.

Room 14 also helped to ‘plant a tree for the Queen’s Jubilee’, planting a Christmas tree at the front of the school. How long do you think it will take for it to grow taller than you?

Outdoor Education

There has been lots going on to support our learning in Outdoor Education with many staff giving up their time to volunteer and help with developments. On Tuesday and Thursday, we’ve had a Ground Force team working for a few weeks doing a range of jobs, including planting bamboo, bordering plant beds and a general tidy up of the sensory garden.

We’ve also been supported by One Seed Forward to erect our polytunnel. The frame was up and ready for our team of willing volunteers to finish the job on Saturday. This was a big job and used lots of skills, both numeracy (measuring and fitting things in the right place), following the instructions, and listening to do as we were told for those of us with lots of enthusiasm with no prior experience. We cleared the ground to level it off for the installation of raised beds and slabs to make it fully accessible, and one great all rounder managed to lay the turf on a very muddy area of the playground, hopefully resolving a longer standing issue.

We were well fed and watered with tea, coffee and delicious homebakes, always a good way to get the most from the workforce, and finally into the afternoon we got to the really exciting bit, stretching the cover over the tunnel to complete it.

A great team effort! Thanks to everyone that supported on Saturday – we really appreciate the time given by the volunteers from One Seed Forward, friends and family, and of course our own staff team. Great job!

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.

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

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (29th-31st January)

Today sees the start of the 42nd annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which sees birdwatchers across the country join in the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project and we would love for pupils and staff at Orchard Brae to get involved.

Taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch is really easy. Simply watch the birds for one hour at some point over the three days. This can be done in your garden, your local park or even sitting looking out your window!

Last year, over 500,000 birds were counted by Big Garden Birdwatchers in Scotland giving real insight into how our birds are doing.

Have a look at the RSPB website where you will find lots of fun activities and resources to help you participate in the Big Gard Birdwatch but here are a few to get you started.


Lucky Duck Story:

Make A Bird Feeder:

Make Paper Plate Birds:

Tally Sheets:

Here are some simple tally sheets that you can use to keep track of the birds you see.

Don’t forget to let us know how you got on with the Big Garden Birdwatch survey and 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) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Orienteering In Room 2

With Scott, room 2 have been learning the skills involved in Orienteering.

We all enjoy learning outside; following the route; looking for the orienteering flags in the playground; being first to find the flag; selecting the flag numbers (and correct colour) and matching them to the appropriate number on the orienteering board.

Room 2’s class team are very proud of all the pupils and how quickly they have learnt the skills involved.

Signs of Autumn

Some of us have been looking for signs of Autumn when we’ve been out and about. We’ve noticed the weather changing a little – while we’ve had some sunny days, there’s also a chill in the air. The autumn colours are starting to appear and we notice the trees changing colour, both in our playground and in the community. Lots of beautiful orange, red and yellow. Some of us have made autumn pictures using the leaves we’ve collected.

We have also enjoyed some relaxing music: