Orchard Brae Kiltwalk

A few of our pupils and staff are participating in the virtual Kiltwalk at the weekend and we wish them the very best of luck!

To support, the rest of us are doing our own Kiltwalk activities in school this Friday and we would encourage pupils to wear a touch of tartan if they can – anything goes!

We will be dancing and walking on Friday and will share photos of our activities with you next week.

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: friendsoforchardbrae@mail.com

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

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.

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

Enjoying our Learning in Secondary

Burns Celebrations to start the week

We’ve had another busy week of remote learning. Starting on Monday with our whole school Burns Day Celebration, the week was started with great enthusiasm!

Daily Circle Time

To keep our routine going, many classes continue to do daily circle time. Some of our learners have their own circle time packs at home to support the familiar routine, others use the class slides to provide structure. It’s great to receive feedback on how our learners are getting on: ‘He thoroughly enjoys circle time.’

For one young man, circle time is also an opportunity to practise his bench sitting.

Personal Independence and Life Skills

We continue to develop independence in personal care. Staff take time to support us in doing things for ourselves. Handwashing is very important during a pandemic!

We’ve been cooking and baking. There was some delicious French Onion Soup on offer this week and beautiful golden shortbread. Look out Masterchef, here we come!

Expressive Arts

We enjoyed art, PE, drumming and music through Makaton Choir. A very detailed drawing was done to decorate a drum for a music session with Keith – the drawing is of a hunter being chased by an African lady that is protecting the animals!

We also took time to relax, both indoors and out.

Working Hard

We worked hard on a range of learning activities and tasks, some online and some more practical.

One of our senior pupils made an amazing cat house as part of her SQA work. I think you’ll agree, this is for one very lucky cat!


Finally, to round off the week we had an Assembly. We talked about mental health and the theme ‘Express Yourself’. Staff shared the ways that they express themselves and show that they’re unique. The slides are available to view in the Google Assembly classroom for anyone that was unable to join us. Our challenge for the next assembly on 12th February is to share a photo of us doing something that we enjoy – anything goes!

PE at Home

Our PE specialists have been working hard, supported by our Young Leaders from Howes Hoose. Have you had a look in the PE classroom yet?

There are different activities each week to suit all ages and abilities. Here are a couple of activities demonstrated by the Young Leaders: throwing from a seated position and throwing from a standing position.

If you do try out any of our PE at Home videos, please share your feedback with Salvi and Amanda by commenting on their links, sharing photographs or videos. They are keen to know what you are enjoying in order that they can provide activities to meet your needs, assess our pupils’ learning, and at Secondary level, use activities towards our National Qualifications and ASDAN awards.

Big Burns Day Celebration: Ceilidh Dancing And Movement To Scottish Music

Music and dance play a large part in Burns Day celebrations and in this activity there are lots of opportunities to take part in movement to Scottish music as well as try some ‘ceilidh’ dancing.

Traditional Tales For Tiny People

Traditional Tunes for Tiny People’ is a Live Music Now Scotland project aimed at teaching families and young people traditional Scottish tunes and songs.

In this video Grant McFarlane (accordion), Claire Hastings (voice, ukulele) and Ron Jappy (acoustic guitar, piano) from the musical trio Aonach Mor introduce a fun song for sharing and enjoying at home, in nurseries or in schools. ‘Jump Jim Joe’ has some simple jumping moves and actions that they will guide you through.

In this video Grant McFarlane, Claire Hastings and Ron Jappy from the musical trio Aonach Mor perform ‘A doo fell off a lum’, meaning “a pigeon fell off a chimney”. Follow their simple actions to learn a fun and interactive Scots song. The songs come with simple actions that they will guide you through with the help of props and live music.

Ceilidh Dancing

For this activity our PE teachers Amanda and Salvi have recorded 3 set dances for you. They have been recorded keeping social distance between them, but if you are at home you can choose to dance like them or you can do them holding hands with your family. The 3 Ceilidh dances are “The Gay Gordons”, “The Canadian Barn Dance” and our “Circle Dance”.

Here are some links to the Scottish music so you can dance along at home. There is the Dashing White Sergeant, the Gay Gordons, the Canadian Barn Dance and finally Auld Lang Syne, which is always the last song in our Burns Day parties!

We would love to see how you get on with you Burns Day 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

24 Hour Walk/Run Challenge

On Friday the 6th of November, we will be undertaking a whole school challenge to raise money to purchase at least one of these bikes.

All the pupils at Orchard Brae will help us to complete this challenge. Every class will be allocated a 30 minutes time slot from 10 am until the end of the day to walk around the School Playground. Then Orchard Brae Staff will continue with the challenge over night until 10 am on Saturday completing the 24 Hour continuous Walk/Run challenge.

Some senior pupils and their staff teams have already started their own fundraising activities. In the video below senior pupils explain how much they have raised so far and a little bit more about the bike we are hoping to purchase.

After the October holidays further information will be shared on how to make a donation for this cause should you wish to.

Many thanks,

PE Department

Virtual Sports Day

Huge thanks to Amanda and Salvi, our PE teachers and Scott, Active Schools, for organising our Virtual Sports Day, and thanks to everyone that took part. Pupils and staff have been joining in over the course of the week to complete up to 8 challenges. It’s been fun seeing how you’ve been getting on, how things have been adapted to support our individual strengths, and also to see some healthy competition within your families! We hope you enjoy the photos. If you’ve not had a chance to get involved yet, why not try out some activities over the weekend, or even in the summer holidays?


Beat the Goalie

We set up our own goals and took on a challenge. The different options suggested were:

  1. Kick from further back
  2. Kick backwards
  3. Pass to someone before trying to score
  4. Kick blindfolded


Obstacle Course

Your challenge was to be creative and have fun, using various objects around the house and garden to build obstacles.



We practised throwing with different challenges for anyone finding it easy:

  1. Throw from further back
  2. Throw backwards
  3. Throw under leg
  4. Throw blindfold


Water Run

Always a popular activity on Sports Day, thankfully we’ve had some sunny weather! As you can see, some of us really entered into the spirit of things and got very wet! Trying out the different options, you can see we had some team work in action:

  1. As a team
  2. With obstacles
  3. With holes in the cup
  4. Add food colouring to water


Egg and Spoon

A sports day classic, this can be adapted by using a frying pan or plastic bowl instead of a spoon. All sorts of things can be improvised in place of an egg, such as a potato, a scrunched up sock, newspaper, and anything else you can think of!

The options included:

  1. Race against each other
  2. Add obstacles
  3. Time yourself



Our challenge was to practise bowling using empty plastic bottles as the target – a good way of re-using plastic. Keeping things safe for indoors, rolled up socks, a toilet roll or even a teddy were suggested alternatives to a ball.

Again, different options to increase the challenge:

  1. Bowl from further back
  2. Bowl from sitting
  3. Bowl standing
  4. Bowl blindfold



The only event I personally tried, again there were options to make things a bit more interesting:

  1. Have a race against each other
  2. Run backwards
  3. Shuttle run with toys
  4. Run with obstacles (hurdles)

One inventive Grandad even encouraged running by turning on the garden hose!


Tower Building

This activity allowed us to be even more creative, using any number of objects to:

  1. Build a tower and push it down
  2. Shuttle run to build a tower
  3. Build a tower as high as you can
  4. Build a tower as a team

It looks like good fun was had by all.

A fabulous effort! We hope you had fun. You’re all winners!

Primary Department Activities – Week Beginning 22nd June

Our Google Classrooms have gone live!  Your child’s teacher will be using Google Classroom to share activities with you but we are aware that some families are waiting on technology and other supports to enable them to access Google Classroom so we will still be posting a selection of activities here too.  If you haven’t logged in yet or having difficulty accessing Google Classroom please contact your child’s teacher who will be able to offer you support and advice.  Here is a short video to show you some of the exciting things happening on Google Classroom.

If you would like to share how you have got on with our activities, please share any photos via your child’s teacher, through Google Classroom, the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page or email Amy Dunnett (Principal Teacher Primary) adunnett@aberdeencity.gov.uk.  Downloading videos from the Orchard Brae School Facebook Messenger page appears to be working again (fingers crossed!) however if you are having any issues, please send them using a free transfer site such as Dropbox or WeTransfer.

Virtual Sports Day:

This week we are holding our first ever Virtual Sports Day and we would like to thank our PE teachers, Amanda and Salvi for organising this.  Our Virtual Sports Day will start on Monday 22nd June and we would love for as many of our pupils, families and staff as possible to join in.

There will be 8 challenges for you to try at home and you will have the whole week to complete as many challenges as you can. Each challenge will have a short video clip which will include a demonstration of the task and suggested equipment to use. Challenges can be copied, adapted or you can even devise your own.

If you would like to participate, please check your child’s ab-ed.org email where you will find an invitation to join and access the Virtual Sports Day Google Classroom.

Story Of The Week: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

This week’s story is a wonderful shimmering underwater adventure – The Rainbow Fish.  Troughout this story, the Rainbow Fish gradually realises the importance of friendship and sharing!

Using the link below you can watch and listen to the story:


The book study below has some great activities for you to try at home based on the story.

Links and additional documents to support the activities can be found below:

Activity 1: Fish Outlines

Activity 3: Aquarium Sensory Bag

Activity 5: Fishy Biscuit Recipe

This recipe can also be found at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easiest-ever-biscuits

Other Activity Ideas:

Be Resilient!

Education Scotland, in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council, produced a Resilience Alphabet full of fun think, say, do activities designed to promote resilience and develop coping strategies.  There are a series of activities for each letter of the alphabet, so pick a letter and give it a go!


Learning Grid: Life Skills

Here is a learning grid for Life Skills.  It contains 16 activity ideas for you to help develop and promote your child’s independence in a range of household and life skills tasks.

These activities are only suggestions and we would recommend that, where appropriate, you adapt these activities to meet your child’s ability level.