Join In The Festive Fun!!!

This festive season, our expressive arts elves – sorry, team 🧑‍🎄 – have been busy supporting classes in creating videos for a Christmas Countdown Calendar. However, for the final video they need your help!

They are looking for as many people as possible to be involved in the ‘Rockin Around The Christmas Tree’ video including all staff, parents and partner agencies.

To get you started, Keith and Emmeline have filmed an example including makaton signing.

To get involved we would like you to film excerpts of yourself signing or dancing along with the song which will then be edited together to create the final window on the Orchard Brae advent calendar.

Here is some filming information on the best way to film your excerpt.

Once you have your final video, please email it to Keith or Emmeline via their gw emails:

Return to nursery

All the returning children from Orchard Brae at Ashgrove have settled well since starting back in August. We have been able to welcome new children to our Nursery and it has been great to see how quickly they have adapted to their new setting. They all appear to be enjoying and becoming familiar within the Nursery environment.

We have been doing lots of sensory activities with painting, gloop and shaving foam. We have also been making vegetable and fruit printing pictures. We have been planting our spring bulbs and enjoying what remains of the “summer weather.”

As the trees are now beginning to change colour we have been exploring this concept as we go for walks in the local community. Some of the children have shown great interest in our apple and plum trees which grow in our outdoor play area and have been collecting them. We have used some of the plums for our snack. Next week we are planning to use the apples to make apple pie.

The staff team at Ashgrove are all looking forward to working with the children and supporting them throughout their time with us. 

Autism Outreach Service – Presentation: Nursery to P1 Transition

This is a new presentation written by Hayley McFarlane, a member of the Autism Outreach Team. Under the current circumstances we thought it would provide useful information for those schools with pupils transitioning into Primary 1 from Nursery.

Specifically the presentation will look at how to support transition through the use of visuals.

Autism Outreach Service – Presentation: Supporting ASD in the Secondary School

This presentation is one that has been delivered to education staff in the past as a twilight workshop, presented by Hayley McFarlane and Laura May, members of the Autism Outreach Team. Under the current circumstances, our team thought it would be useful for staff to have access to it online, to help contribute towards CLPL.

The presentation will briefly discuss the following topics, giving you some simple ideas of how you can support an autistic young person in your class or school :

  • Anxiety and ASD
  • Sensory Needs
  • Transitions
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Exam Support
  • Support in class
  • Routine and Structure

Happy Holidays!

We would like to thank all of our pupils, families and staff for their hard work, enthusiasm and endless support over the last four months!  You have amazed us with your strength and resilience during a very challenging and difficult time.

Last night’s virtual prom was a wonderful way to say goodbye to our school leavers and we wish them all well for the amazing journeys that lie ahead of them.

We also have to say farewell to some staff members too as they leave us for pastures new.

We say a fond farewell to Niki Anderson, our Head of Early Learning and Childcare, who is retiring. Niki has been part of our community for many years both at Hazlewood and Orchard Brae. We will miss her very much but wish her every happiness in her retirement.

We also say goodbye to Sam Stephen, our dance and drama instructor, who is heading off for new adventures in London.  Thank you Sam for your endless enthusiasm and boundless energy and for organising an amazing virtual prom!  We wish you well for the future.

Cara Blackstock, PSA in Room 8 will be leaving us to train as a teacher and we wish her every success in her future career.

Tracey Catto, from the Admin team, left us at Easter but farewells then were overshadowed by events so we would like to wish her well in her future endeavours.

Goodbye also to Jacqui Clutten, who has been a children’s escort for 17 years and farewell to her fellow escort Connor Cadger.

But as we say farewell to what has been an unusual year to say the least, the staff at Orchard Brae would like to share a little something to brighten up your summer!



Autism Outreach Service – Free Webinars from Children in Scotland



Children in Scotland is a national charity that is delivering some free webinars throughout the month of July. The webinars are on a range of topics and are aimed at parents and carers of children with additional support needs. The webinar titles and dates are listed below.

If you are interested in joining in one of the webinars you can book by clicking the link here which will take you to the Children in Scotland booking page on eventbrite.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020, 10.30 till 12.00

Discussing coronavirus and lockdown with children/teens with ASN

Corrie McLean, Three Sisters Consultancy


Monday, 20 July 2020, 15.00 till 16.30

Supporting children/teens with ASN to manage health anxieties

Corrie McLean, Three Sisters Consultancy


Thursday, 23 July 2020, 10.30 till 12.00

Understanding children’s rights and additional support requirements

My Rights, My Say


Tuesday, 28 July 2020, 10.30 till 12.00

Creating positive home routines for children/teens with ASN

Corrie McLean, Three Sisters Consultancy


Friday, 31 July 2020, 15.00 till 16.30

Supporting children/teens with ASN with their transition back to schooling

Corrie McLean, Three Sisters Consultancy




Music With Emmeline – Monday 22nd June

Here are today’s musical activities from Emmeline.

Vocal Warm-Up: Horse

This week’s vocal warm-up is going to be making the sounds of a horse! Can you take a deep breath in and make a horsey sound with Emmeline to warm up your voice?

Shine: Part 1 – Chorus

This week’s Makaton song is going to be ‘Shine’ by Take That. A song that we are sure most of you are very familiar with! Today we are going to learn the chorus, the words are;

So come on, oh come on, get it on
I don’t know what you’re waiting for
Your time is coming don’t be late, hey hey
So come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine
Just let it shine
Let it shine

Music With Emmeline – Tuesday 16th June

Here are today’s musical activities from Emmeline.

Action Song: Move Your Finger Round Your Tummy

Move your finger is a lovely action song that a pupil has taught Emmeline during lock-down. It incorporates many different actions and is very good fun! We hope you enjoy singing along with it with Emmeline and trying out the actions at home.

Days like This: Part 2 – Verse 2

Today we are going to sing and sign the second verse of Days Like This. Here are the words;

When you don’t need to worry there’ll be days like this
When no one’s in a hurry there’ll be days like this
When you don’t get betrayed by that old Judas kiss
Oh my mama told me there’ll be days like this.