Letter To Parents/Carers – 23rd April 2021

I hope this finds you well.

I have attached a copy of the school’s updated Covid-19 risk assessment. This reflects the changes in guidance from the Scottish Government as well as Aberdeen City Council’s guidance.

It has been nice to see the school busy with the full return and I continue to work closely with NHS, Health Protection Team and families of those pupils that have not yet been able to return to school to ensure we have procedures in place that will enable this to happen as far as is possible.

The display of tartan in school today has been tremendous to mark our virtual Kiltwalk day. I have seen a kilt, tartan troose, tartan skirts and many more tartan garments and the weather has been on our side too.  I know many of the pupils, parents/carers and staff have been busy fund raising for Friends of Orchard Brae so a very big thank you to everyone.  

I hope everyone has a good weekend

Take care

Kind regards

Caroline

A Busy Start To The Term In Room 4

Room 4 have had a busy start to the new term.

We have been having lots of fun learning through play and this has helped us introduce our new topic by exploring different means of transport through art, songs and sensory play! We have made drawings using cars and trucks of various sizes!

We are also exploring the outdoors and taking advantage of the good weather!

We enjoyed making some ladybug crackers and smelling and touching all the ingredients we used!

One of our classmates had his birthday! We celebrated with him and did some festive games, like individually wrapped pass the parcels!

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.

Room 19 Return to School

Our return to school after the Easter break has been pretty hectic.  There has been lots of giggles as we all enjoyed being back in a bigger group.  The pupils all worked hard with Google Classroom and Google meets last term.  I am so impressed at the communication skills and confidence the pupils developed during virtual lessons.  We still enjoy conference calls with peers at home as well as live music lessons online.  Here are a few photos from our first week back in school, playing “Headbandz” and mindfulness.

Sensory Fun In Room 8

Over the current school year, we have created a number of sensory experiences for our pupils. Many of the sensory play activities we create are in the form of sensory bins. 

Shredded paper sensory activity was the cheapest sensory bin we have ever put together. Playing with shredded paper is so much fun. Shredded paper is a tactile sensory learning experience.  But what is the point of this apart from making a mess?

The children have learnt to:

  • relax and enjoy the process rather than the end result
  • social interaction including co-operative and parallel play
  • promote gross and fine motor skill development
  • affirm individuality and build self-esteem as they engage in spontaneous play without pre-set ideas
  • allow them to explore care free and make a mess
  • explore messy play without getting dirty (some children don’t like getting dirty)
  • gain social skills and strategies for sharing space to gain spatial awareness

And we know, the activity doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be FUN!!!



ASDAN Work in Room 14

We are happy to all be back together in Room 14 this term. Our focus is on developing independence and working on our ASDAN modules.

Following on from last term when we focused on handwashing, we tried out the Glitter Bug to see how thoroughly we had washed our hands. It was fascinating to look under the UV light to find which parts we had neglected. We will continue with this and we are going to be learning some Makaton signs for parts of our body.

In HE, we made ‘yogurt’. It got a mixed reaction when we tasted it, with some of us loving it and others just having a tiny taste before decided that it wasn’t for us. It’s good to see that we are developing a willingness to try tasting new foods as this may build to expanding our diet.

We have been learning about other cultures. We have done some Spanish inspired art work and we learned a Turkish dance. This is a social dance, usually done on occasions such as weddings. We all had great fun learning how to do this and really enjoyed the music. We will be learning more about Turkish and Polish culture this term.

Finally, we have been working on our end of day review, sharing our opinions on what we have liked and disliked during the day. It is important that we are enabled to give our thoughts on learning.

Orchard Brae Connect Parent Workshop

Orchard Brae Connect are delighted to be hosting a Parent Workshop in conjunction with Alyson O’Brien from Sleep Scotland. This will take place online on Tuesday 8th June between 10-11 am.

In this session Alyson will talk about why we sleep, what happens when we don’t sleep, why we wake through the night and general ideas on how we can get a better nights sleep. Although Alyson might not be able to discuss specific individual sleep issues, it would be useful for her if you are able to briefly describe your child’s sleep problems, to allow her to focus on any common themes, only if you are happy to do so of course.

Please note that this event is only open to parents and carers of pupils attending Orchard Brae School and nurseries.

If you are interested in attending this event please email rebecca.j.duncan@gmail.com by Monday 17th May

DolphinFest 2021

RSPB Scotland is excited to announce registration is open for DolphinFest 2021

DolphinFest will help celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters by giving locals to the Granite City and communities further afield, even more opportunities to engage with, and be enthused by, local marine wildlife with a host of online marine-themed events for people to get involved with.

Running from 7-11 April, DolphinFest is a celebration of the amazing marine wildlife around Aberdeen and the North-East coast, especially the bottlenose dolphins which are seen regularly from Torry Battery, and aims to encourage people to help protect it. It will also celebrate the end of the Dolphinwatch project which has been running in Aberdeen since 2013.

Thanks to support from EventScotland as part of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, and the involvement of organisations and individuals across Scotland, the Festival has a wide range of online events from pub quizzes to talks, music and storytime.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to support DolphinFest as part of Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21. Scotland offers the perfect stage to explore our natural environment and this year’s festival provides an opportunity to enjoy online events and learn about the marine wildlife of Aberdeen and the North-East coast.”

Registration is now open for the mostly free-to-attend festival and the full programme can be viewed on the RSPB Dolphinwatch webpage. Leading up to the Festival people are being encouraged to show their excitement for DolphinFest and their love for the marine environment by decorating a dolphin or marine animal and putting it in their window.

Sadie Gorvett, RSPB Scotland’s Community Engagement Officer, who is organising the festival said: “I am so grateful to EventScotland for giving us the chance to run DolphinFest this year. With the disappointment of so many events having to be cancelled in the past 12 months, I hope DolphinFest will be something people can look forward to. It won’t be quite how we had imagined, with it now being online but, thanks to the support of so many organisations and individuals, the programme of events looks to be just as exciting. I hope DolphinFest will inspire people to get out in their local areas to experience the incredible marine environment and wildlife we are lucky to have, not just in Aberdeen but across Scotland.”

The Festival will include a series of take action talks and live Q&As from a range of organisations, a young conservationists webinar with inspiring young speakers, suggested wildlife walking trails, a series of storytime sessions with TV presenter Rory Crawford, recorded tours and videos from amazing marine locations such as St Cyrus and the Scottish Seabird Centre, activities and games with the RSPB’s Wild Challenge, Aberdeen Science Centre and The Locked Door and quizzes by Aberdeen University Marine Society and Goose’s Quizzes.

Throughout the Festival people will be encouraged to not only enjoy the marine environment on their doorstep but to take action to protect it by taking part in the Big Blue Clean Up event, with Turning the Plastic Tide offering their top tips for safe litter picking. 

DolphinFest is part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 where Scotland continues to celebrate its coasts and waters with a programme of activities and events which will shine a spotlight on these vital elements of our landscape.

The festival this year will also celebrate the end of Dolphinwatch, a project led by RSPB Scotland in Partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters – celebrating the water that makes the country’s landscape so special and loved.

Running since 2013, the project included the popular Dolphinwatch viewing which brought thousands of locals and tourists to the iconic Torry Battery to see dolphins and latterly a schools’ programme, community talks and DolphinFest. The project was supported and funded throughout the years by a number of other organisations.

The full programme is available to download at rspb.org.uk/dolphinwatch along with a special DolphinFest colouring in sheet. Most events are free and do not require booking, but people need to register for the festival at https://rspb.eventsair.com/dolphin-fest/reg-form/Site/Register

Tickets for Treasure Quest must be purchased separately from thelockeddoor.co.uk. Details of other events that require booking or have charges are available in the programme.

You can also keep up to date and share your dolphin colouring in at facebook.com/RSPBNorthEastScotland

Letter To Parents/Carers – 26th March 2021

We have reached the end of another term and I would like to thank you all for the way you have supported the school and worked with us to get through another challenging period of national lockdown. I congratulate you all in the many ways you have embraced online learning with your child and joined in and contributed to the many sessions and activities that have taken place over the term.

As we go into the 2 week Easter break we can remain positive that on 6th April the First Minister will confirm that a full return to school will be possible from 12th April as long as the virus levels stay low.

I have a couple of links that I would like to share with you which I hope you will find helpful.

Firstly,  I would like to draw your attention to the fact that as unpaid carers you are eligible to sign up for a covid-19 vaccine. Please use the link below to register:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/vaccinating-carers

Hopefully many will apply and uptake on this option – the more of us that are vaccinated the more protection we have for our whole school community.

I received information from the Child and Family Mental Health (CAMHS) Early Intervention Team this week with a link to a series of webinars they have available to support parents and carers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCID3OzHwlngMuHVcoQXZvYQ

The webinar topics include:

  • Episode1: Welcome and meet the team 
  • Episode2: Body tools​for anxiety 
  • Episode3: Thinking tools​for anxiety 
  • Episode4: Managing anxious behaviours​ 
  • Episode5: Talking to your child about anxiety​ 
  • Episode6: Understanding the adolescent brain and impact on teen mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown 
  • Episode7: Looking after your mental health and wellbeing 
  • Episode8: Resources you may find helpful 
  • Episode9: Supporting your child on the return to school following lockdown 

Please don’t forget you all very welcome to join in with our Virtual Kiltwalk activities on 23rd April. The day will be full of activities from walking to dancing and we would love it if you could join us in any way you can. A wee hint of tartan will be the dress code of the day.

If you wish to raise funds for Friends of Orchard Brae you can register for free by emailing Lisa Simons at friendsoforchardbrae@mail.com

I hope you all have a good Easter break.

Take and stay safe and well

Regards

Caroline