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)

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)

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!

Scottish Autism – ‘Right Click’ Online Support

Scottish Autism is the largest provider of autism specific services in Scotland and a leading authority and advocate for good autism practice.

In supporting families, Scottish Autism, have produced an online support programme.

The Right Click programme has been developed specifically for parents or carers of individuals who are on the autism spectrum who are in particular need of information or support.

The Young Child programme is focused on providing support to parents or carers of young and recently diagnosed children. The programme includes topics such as: eating, sleeping and toileting.

When you sign up for Right Click you will complete a registration form and then receive a confirmation email. You can then log in and get started.

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!

A Busy Week Of Learning In Primary

Wow! It has been a very busy week across the Primary Department, both in school and at home and once again, you have blown us all away with how hard you have all been working on developing your skills and learning.

Here’s just a wee snapshot of what’s been happening over the week.

Big Burns Day Celebration

On Monday, we held our first whole school themed activity day as we celebrated the birth of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns.

There were lots of fun activities for everyone to participate in whether they were at home or in school.

We got creative and designed our own versions of the saltire flag.

We made shortbread and of course we had to make sure they tasted good!

We were very fortunate to have one of our Pupils Support Assistants, Claire, play the bagpipes for us on Monday. One pupil had a go at creating his own Scottish music at home using a chanter.

In the afternoon there were a series of live Google Meets hosted by our drumming instructor, Keith and our music therapist, Emmeline. It was great to see so many familiar faces join in with the drumming, ceilidh and Makaton choir sessions.

It’s safe to say that everyone had a fantastic day and a huge thanks to everyone who helped to organise this event and everyone who participated so enthusiastically!!

Karen’s Creative Challenge

Last week Karen, Head of Primary, set everyone a tower building challenge. This week she challenged us to develop our throwing skills and as you can see below, we all had a great time taking part! We’re looking forward to seeing what challenge Karen sets us next week.

Keeping Active

It’s important to keep active and we’ve been busy using equipment in school and at home, working on developing our balance and core strength as well as relaxing with some yoga. We’ve explored the great outdoors and despite the cold and wet weather this week, we still managed to have fun with some puddle jumping!!

Life Skills

You’ve continued to share with us with how you’ve been progressing in the development of your life skills. You’ve been very busy making lots of yummy looking treats, washing your hands and we are absolutely amazed with how well one pupil managed to use chopsticks.

Another pupil has been developing his independent feeding skills and we were delighted to see him not only try tastes of foods but also help feed himself via his gastrostomy tube. We were really impressed with his co-ordination!

Working Hard

Everyone has been busy working and learning new skills over the week.

Pupils in Room 5 have started reading the book The Colour Monster. Throughout the book different colours are associated with different emotions. This week they were exploring the colour yellow which represents happiness. These yellow themed activities certainly looked cheerful and fun and brought a smile to our faces!

Others were learning through play and sensory activities, developing their fine motor skills.

We’ve also been developing our fine motor skills through a range of craft activities too.

We’ve also been working hard on developing our communication and literacy skills this week.

In this video, one pupil wowed us with his ability to anticipated what was coming next during the story ‘Hole At The Bottom Of The Sea’.

His mum said ‘He actually got up off the chair knowing he had a seal somewhere about and had to grab it in line with the animals being mentioned as from the bottom of the sea! ‘ What a special WOW moment!

As you can see it’s been a very busy week in the Primary Department and there has been lots of fun and lots of learning taking place. Keep on smiling, have a wonderful weekend and we can’t wait to see where our learning will take us next!

Thank You!

A huge Orchard Brae thank you to Andy Gerrie for his fantastic fundraising efforts on behalf of the school!

He has (very bravely) undertaken a sponsored shave and raised over £440!

Your amazing efforts are much appreciated by all at Orchard Brae and we hope you’ve got a warm woolly hat handy!!

Letter to Parents/Carers – 29th January 2021


I hope you are all well. I have a few things I would like to share as we come to the end of another week.

I attend a weekly head teacher drop-in session with colleagues from Health Protection Scotland. They were able to share that the current lockdown restrictions are beginning to bring the number of cases down within the NHS Grampian area. Positive daily cases have dropped by about a third which is positive news. It is good to know that all of our hard work as a community is making a difference. 😊

They also shared that NHS Grampian are in the top 3 of health boards when it comes to administering the vaccine.

I hope you managed to join in some of the Burns Day fun on Monday. We have had some really positive feedback so thank you for sharing that with us.

We have additional Chromebooks being delivered to pupils to support online access so please let the school know if you do not have a device for your child and we will do our best to remedy that.

The First Minister will be reviewing restrictions on Tuesday 2nd February. I hope to be able to update in my email next week.

The parental monthly newsletter from the Education Service will also be coming out via groupcall today as well as being uploaded on to our website.

Please keep a look out for pictures of Andy Gerrie whose wife Ann is an EYP. He raised £440 by shaving his beard, eyebrows and head to help raise funds for the school. Very brave Andy and a big thank you.

I hope the weather improves for the weekend and you are able to get some fresh air.

Please take care and stay safe.

Kind regards