Home Economics Activities

This week we have a couple of different recipes for waffles for you to try making at home. What will you put on yours – bacon, maple syrup, jam or maybe something else? Have a go and why don’t you let us know what your favourite toppings are.

Belgian Waffles


Cheat’s Waffle Recipe


We would love to see how you get on with you Home Economics 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

Autism Outreach Service – Workshops

The Autism Outreach Service are going to be presenting two new workshops for staff that are now available to book on Eventbrite.

The workshops are twilight sessions presented online on Teams. The links for booking for each workshop is available below.

We hope you will be able to join us and we look forward to seeing you there.

Autism and Mindfulness

Presented by Karen Inglis, Laura May and Jan McKechnie.

Tuesday 20th April 2021 (16.00 – 18.00)

Attendees will understand the theories behind mindfulness and the overall benefits it can have for themselves as well as children with Autism. This course will explore a range of practical ways to implement mindfulness and the positive affect it can have on wellbeing, emotional regulation and self- belief.

For the Eventbrite booking link for Autism and Mindfulness please click here.

Autism – Using Visuals at Home

Presented by Hayley McFarlane and Tricia Bruce

Thursday 29th April 2021 (16.00 – 17.30)

We will be discussing and demonstrating how visuals can be used in the home to effectively support Autistic children and young people. We will go through a range of different visual structures, templates and resources. The focus on the workshop will be to support you in understanding what visuals may be helpful for you to provide to parents to support them at home.

For the Eventbrite booking link for Autism – Using Visuals at Home please click here.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also referred to as Lunar new Year, is the Chinese festival which celebrates the New Year on the traditional Chinese calendar. This year it falls on Friday the 12th of February. Every year in the Chinese calendar is represented by an animal, 2021 is the year of the Ox.

Below are some activities to help you celebrate at home. Don’t worry if you do not have all the exact items you need, you can replace them with whatever bits and pieces you have at home.

Hope you have fun and Happy Chinese New Year!

This is a story from about how the twelve zodiac years were named by the Jade Emperor.

Cbeebies also have some fun things to make to help you celebrate.

This video shows you how to make a Chinese lantern that you can decorate and hang up.

Learning In Primary

We have come to the end of another busy week in the Primary Department and it has been fantastic to see all the different learning that has been taking place both at home and in school.

Exploring Art

This week our Art teacher, Diane, set us the task of exploring and creating art using flour. Lots of us took part in the messy fun, exploring flour with our senses, developing our motor skills through sprinkling the flour and creating artwork using flour and objects.

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Karen didn’t manage to set us a new challenge this week but we’ve still been having a go at the last two challenges and practising our tower building and throwing skills.

Life Skills

We’ve had another busy week working on our life skills.

We’re becoming more independent in some important life skills, such as cleaning, looking after our things and one pupil impressed us with how well he is managing to independently move around in his wheelchair!

We’ve also been busy making lots of yummy treats, crushing, mixing, chopping and stirring ingredients and no doubt enjoying a wee taste along the way!

Birthday Celebrations

A few pupils have celebrated birthdays this week, but one pupil in school had a party along with his friends in class. The cake looks like it was a hit with everyone and the birthday boy enjoyed watching some special birthday messages from the staff team.

Working Hard

Once again we’ve been working really hard on improving our skills and learning new things.

We’ve worked on your communication and literacy skills, focusing on developing our use of core vocabulary boards and switches to make requests, sharing our favourite stories, improving our writing skills and pencil control as well as working on our attention and listening skills and following instructions.

We’ve also had fun developing our fine motor skills through arts and crafts, working on pencil control, making and decorating our own musical shakers and printing as well as through sensory play.

We’ve also been learning about the world around us by using our senses in lots of different ways. We’ve enjoyed time exploring sensory activities, making music and following rhythms, working in the sensory room and playing together and co-operating using the magic carpet!

One class even took part in some fantastic science this week making their own lava lamps using oil, coloured water and alka seltzers!

It’s been great to see how much you’ve enjoyed spending time with your friends from class even when you’re apart, participating in familiar activities and taking part in live teaching sessions.

It’s definitely been another very busy week in the Primary Department and there has been lots of fun and lots of learning taking place. So relax, have a wonderful weekend and we can’t wait to see where our learning will take us next!

Letter to Parents/Carers – 5th February 2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

We have had a very fast moving few days this week since the First Minister (FM) made her announcements on Tuesday. As I am sure you know the FM gave details of a proposed phased return to schools from Mon 22nd Feb which will be confirmed on Tue 16th Feb. It is hoped that all school based Early Learning and Childcare (ELC), P1-P3 and a small number of S4-S6 pupils (who require to complete practical elements of their SQA courses) will return from the 22nd Feb. This is all dependent on the continued downward trend of the Covid 19 virus numbers in the community. The FM also mentioned an increase in numbers of children and young people with ASN may also return. As yet the government has not given any further guidance to local authorities as to the detail around the statement made about ASN schools so I am unable to expand on this further. Please be assured that as soon as I have any further detail, I will of course be sharing this with you all. In the meantime, we are busy planning for the proposed return of ELC and P1-P3 pupils and identifying S4-S6 pupils that require to complete practical elements of their SQA courses. Details of this will be shared with relevant families as soon as possible.

In the readiness for a phased return to school all staff within Orchard Brae have been offered the Covid 19 vaccine and have completed application forms this week. I know that some colleagues have already attended Teca and have received their vaccine. All staff in schools across the city are also being given access to twice weekly lateral flow testing. We expect the test kits to be arriving in school from Mon 8th Feb onwards. We are in the process of setting up the necessary facilities so that colleagues can be issued with the test kits and carry out the tests from home. These are two very significant moves with regard to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of pupils, their families and the staff team and I hope helps to reassure yourselves.

Covid 19 case numbers continue to improve in the NHS Grampian area which covers Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray. Both City and Shire numbers are now below 100 cases per 100 000 and Moray is not far behind. Colleagues from Health Protection Scotland continue to stress the need for us all to be careful and stay within the guidance set out by the Government which is to remain at home unless our journey is absolutely essential. NHS Grampian continue to be one of the best performing Scottish Health Boards with regards to Vaccine roll out which is very encouraging to know.

I recognise how hard a second lockdown has been for our whole school community, especially for you as families supporting your children at home. However, we do now have some very positive steps towards the return to school for pupils and the continued roll out of the vaccine. We are all working hard to follow the guidance set out by the government which we can see is beginning to have a positive affect and is starting to reduce the levels of the Covid 19 virus in the community.

The Scottish Government issued guidance this week specific to our setting and which has been very welcomed. I am pleased to say that we already had in place all the necessary steps that were detailed in the guidance. Attached to the guidance was a link to online resources for parents and families which I have placed below.

Learners with Complex Additional Support Needs: Resources and guidance for parents to support their child’s learning at home – Wakelet

Here’s hoping the wild weather settles soon. Please do not hesitate to contact school with any questions you may have. Take care everyone.

Kind regards


Letter For Parents And Carers

Please find below a letter for parents and carers from Eleanor Sheppard (Chief Education Officer) following yesterday’s announcement from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, about the proposal for phased school returns.

Art Activities

What Happens When We Sprinkle Flour?

This week we are continuing to explore and create artwork using flour. If you don’t have flour at hand, it can be substituted with other food items such as semolina, cornflour or cous cous. As always, the process is the main focus rather than the outcome and we would be delighted to see any photos from school or home!

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!

Stage 1: At this stage we are looking for the pupils to show a simple response or reaction as the explore flour art. With hand over hand support from an adult, explore the flour and how it falls as it is sprinkled onto a surface. Try sprinkling it in different ways, such as with your hands, a sieve or a spoon. How do you have to move your hands to sprinkle the flour? Does it work best if you move from side to side or up and down? Get creative and see if you can find the best way to sprinkle flour and even if there are any other objects to sprinkle with!

Stage 2: With appropriate support, sprinkle the flour onto a suitable surface – it doesn’t have to be inside, maybe you can find somewhere outside that works well for you. Once you have sprinkled your flour onto the surface, make a simple pattern in the flour. You could use your hands or other objects to make your pattern. You can even get creative and try sprinkling the flour into a pattern!

Stage 3: For this stage you will need a clean surface and a variety of different objects. You could try kitchen utensils, things you have found in nature, toys or even just odds and ends such as string.

First you will need to make sure that your workspace in clean. This activity works really well with contrasting colours so think about using dark coloured paper or even a baking tray for your surface. Arrange some objects onto your surface to create a picture or pattern. Once you are happy with your layout, you can sprinkle your flour over the objects using a sieve, a spoon or even your hands. Carefully remove the objects from your surface to see the contrast and the pattern you have created!

As an alternative or extension activity, you could use glue to create a picture or pattern on paper and sprinkle with flour. Again, think about using contrasting colours for your background to make your flour pattern stand out.

If you can take some pictures of your floury explorations to share that would be wonderful 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

Home Economics Activities

This week we are making Vegetable Chow Mein to celebrate Chinese New Year and we have a few different recipes for you to try. You don’t have to stick to the vegetables in the recipes, you can be creative and try something new or use vegetable that your family like or whatever you have in the fridge!

You also might enjoy watching this short video on the Story Of The Sugelan Dragon before you start.

Vegetable Chow Mein

Easy Chow Mein For Kids


CBBC Chow Mein


Kids Meals Go Global Vegetable Chow Mein


We would love to see how you get on with you Home Economics 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

Children’s Mental Health Week 2021

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, led by the charity Place2Be. This year’s theme is Express Yourself and is ideal for all of our learners. There are lots of lovely ideas for creativity and self expression with links on their website such as the art ideas below. Every activity has stories and music in addition to the art ideas so there really is something for everyone.

The sample below is from the Colour Project. Click on the links for more information and a sample of what is on offer:

The Place2Be website is well worth exploring:


BBC also have links for mental health week with some fun clips for younger children on emotions:



Aberdeen City Educational Psychology Service Hub

Our colleagues at the Educational Psychology Service have recently launched their Digital Hub. This is available online and is well worth a look for supporting both you and your children. These are tough times for everyone so it’s important to care for yourself too. One of my personal favourites is the Circle of Control, a reminder to try not to waste time and energy thinking about about things I cannot control or change.

Explore the Educational Psychology Hub further here:


Place2Be Free Training for Staff

Finally, for staff there’s an opportunity to engage in free training around supporting the mental health of our children and young people. Please follow this link:


As always, feel free to share anything you enjoy!

What is your child’s behaviour trying to tell you?

Sometimes, when you have a child with an additional support need, working out what they are trying to tell you can be difficult!

Your child may be beginning to develop some behaviours that challenge you, or they may already have behaviours that challenge you.

There are often complex reasons behind a child’s behaviour and it is rarely anyone’s ‘fault’.

All children are different and there is often no single answer as to why the behaviours are happening.

There is no ‘quick fix’ but hopefully this presentation will give you some ideas, strategies and advice and show you that there are lots of ways you can help and support your child.

At the end of the presentation there are lots of links to additional resources that you may find useful!