Category Archives: Fundraising

The countdown is on!

Everything suddenly seems a little more sparkly at Abbeyhill! The lights are up, festive music is playing, Jack has his Santa hat on, Nativity rehearsals are at fever pitch, Mr Woodhouse and P7 are sawing something….what?! It turned out to be a sustainable Christmas tree made out of reclaimed wood – phew.* Mr McNeil and P5 were also working hard turning single use cups into something that could be enjoyed for a little longer and their homemade decorations will be adorning the P5 tree once they’re dry. There’s still lots of hard work going on as well, P4 have been working on probability this week and P5 created a function machine challenge!

*Yes, there was a risk assessment in place!

Head Teacher Recruitment

I’m pleased to say that the recruitment process for our new Head Teacher is moving forward with final interviews being held on the 14th December. As the notice period of the successful candidate could be up to 12 weeks, I have agreed to stay at Abbeyhill until the new Head Teacher is able to start. I’m absolutely delighted to be able to relax and enjoy Christmas at Abbeyhill now without worrying about packing my office up! Thank you once again to the parents who are supporting the recruitment process.

Coming up…Christmas!

Next week we will be celebrating Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children and, inspired by South Morningside Primary, we are having a ‘Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle Christmas Jumper Day Boutique’ where any Christmas jumpers from years gone by which don’t fit anyone in the family any more have been donated and will be gifted to smaller children who will be able to get some more wear out of them. Younger siblings are being encouraged to wear an older one’s jumper that might now just fit them, or just to wear it big and silly and borrow a grown up’s! We can’t wait to see what everyone wears and no doubt there will be an extra special Christmas Disco Daily Mile where we can all show off our Christmas Jumpers. A donation will be made by the school to Save the Children so there is no cost to Abbeyhill pupils for this event and we hope the focus on sustainability will encourage everyone to think twice about the true cost of ‘fast fashion’.

Christmas parties will also be starting up and, as we can’t have them in the large groups we used to, there will be a party almost every day from Tuesday right through to the end of term! Extra coffee will be required by the staff I think!

Thank you to everyone, staff, pupils and parents who have been so understanding while we have worked extra hard this week due to staff absence. We wish all our absent staff well and look forward to welcoming some of them back next week. Special congratulations to Ms Gordon who becomes Mrs Gordon tomorrow and will be back on Tuesday to show off her wedding photos!

Best wishes,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Big Books lead to Big Ideas!

Today marks the end of Book Week Scotland (not to mention Children in Need and Road Safety Week) and the Breakfast Club were hard at work early this morning setting out all the books for our Big Book Giveaway which was looking very exciting by the time they had finished! Thank you to Mr A Hamilton for organising this (as well as the Big Book Scavenger hunt in the playground yesterday) and to everyone who donated books. Everyone who has visited so far this morning has been very excited to choose books and quickly become engrossed in them!

The Parent Council Fundraising calendar for 2022 went on sale today and it’s absolutely fantastic! Just when we think they can’t possibly get any better, they do! Staff, children, Parent Council and the Colony of Artists all have a month and the cover has been done by Mr Pratt, (O and L’s dad!), turning Mr Woodhouse into an overnight celebrity. He’s already been accused of diva-like behaviour this morning and it will only get worse as more copies are sold! You can order your copy through the Parent Council website for £6 – it’s the perfect stocking filler!

On BBC News this morning, I heard that in England, it will become legally binding from next year that schools must allow families to buy uniform from high street retailers and that second hand options must also be available. It amazed me that this has to be made into a legal obligation as this must mean that a significant amount of schools don’t have this approach already (although plenty do). In Edinburgh, and in Scotland as a whole, we have a much more progressive view and at Abbeyhill we have never insisted on branded uniform, with local high street retailers being named on our uniform policy as cheaper alternatives for as long as I have been at Abbeyhill. Thank you to the Parent Council who have been running regular second-hand uniform sales for several years now; this not only makes uniform more affordable but more environmentally sustainable. Thank you to all the families who donate school clothes that their kids have grown out of, as well as outdoor and winter wear.

I’m a big fan of second hand shopping and buy a lot of my own children’s clothes from Kidclo as well as eBay. Both of them have a ‘Pass It On’ buddy who gets anything that hasn’t been through the mill too much at Nursery and we benefit from my husband’s cousin who has 4 children of both genders – a nice bag of clothes comes our way quite regularly! For myself, I’ve recently discovered Thrift+ and Vinted (although I’m a bit late to the party with that one I think). It saves a fortune as well as the environment so what’s not to like?

Next week the countdown clock to the end of term will be about to start so parents should check next week’s email update for information on what we can and can’t do due to current restrictions and how we’ll be celebrating the festive season in school. I also hope to have more information on recruitment for a new Head Teacher from January.

Have a lovely weekend,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

On the1,000th day of Christmas…

…that’s how it’s starting to feel! The term has raced past and we still have a lot to fit in before we finish on Friday. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported one (or all!) of our Christmas events so far; we’ve already been treated to a wonderful Nativity and last week we had the magical P7 Christmas ceilidh which was enjoyed by everyone as always. Everyone made such an effort and looked incredibly smart in kilts and dresses before doing Mr Chetwynd proud with their ceilidh dancing after all his training in PE. We missed Mr Hamilton but all his efforts to work with the P7s while they designed invitations, placemats and table decorations helped to create a truly wonderful evening.

ceilidh2 

On Thursday, we took part in Underbelly’s Community Christmas and were wowed by a fantastic light show which was projected onto the side of the infant building whilst our very own choir sang. Mrs Flowers and Ms Howson ran a hot chocolate stand and we were pleased to raise £100 in school funds so thank you everyone who came along to support and enjoy the festivities. We’ve already signed up to take part next year!

cc.jpg

This week is full of parties and festive singalongs in assembly before we break up on Friday for the Christmas holidays. Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported Abbeyhill in some way over the last term and I look forward to seeing what 2020 bring for us!

Drop Everything and #ChooseKindness

Switch Off Fortnight

Our Switch Off Fortnight audits came back from classes and smartboards being left on without being in use seems to be our biggest offender! Each class has chosen a home or school pledge to try to stick to over the next few weeks to help reduce energy, save money and protect our environment. ‘Switch Off Monitors’ have been appointed in each class and they are taking their new roles seriously! Have a look at our pledges below; are there any you could try?

IMG-1176

#choosekindness

On Monday we looked at some of the resources for Anti-Bullying Week and talked about the key message of this year’s campaign which is #choosekindness . This is something we’ve talked a lot about in Abbeyhill this year with one of our favourite videos being The Kindness Boomerang.

Book Week Scotland

We’ve thrown ourselves into Book Week Scotland thanks to some very hard work by Ms Howson. We’ve had DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), mystery book gifts, buddy story reading and the return of the very popular extreme reading competition! I’m not sure that anyone is going to beat P2’s efforts but it’s always worth a try…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Children in Need update

Last week in the blog I reported that we had raised just under £260 from our ‘Wear Spots’ dress down day and toy and Book sale but I’m delighted to give you the update that after the final contributions came in we reached a total of £328.88! Well done to everyone who worked hard to organise the sale, including the Abbeyhill Ambassadors who helped on the day, and a big thank you to all the children and families who donated a fantastic selection of good quality toys and books.

Spotlight on P1 with Bookbug (AKA Mr Hamilton)

On Thursday, P1 celebrated Book Week by inviting all our parents and carers to come and take part in story book related activities with us. All of the activities were created from ideas generated by the children based on the stories we had read this week. We made unicorn horns from the book ‘Sophie Johnson Unicorn Expert.’ From the story ‘The Station Mouse’ we made mouse puppets and tried to hide them in amongst our cuddly toys (just like he does in the story). Finally, we used plasticine to make all of the characters from ‘The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears’ and then built castles for them to live in.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the end of the day, we were delighted to have Mrs Gilmour come and visit us from the nursery and present us with our BookBug Bags, containing all 3 books we had read this week, activity books, whiteboards, magnets and many more goodies. All of the children had an amazing time and Mr Hamilton would like to say a massive thank you to all of the adults who were able to come along and make it a fantastic BookBug Bag event that will help drive the love of reading even more in P1.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

What a great week! (Oh no it wasn’t, OH YES IT WAS!)

Panto time!

It’s a little early for pantomime but we never let convention put us off at Abbeyhill and so we were delighted to welcome M&M Theatrical Productions into school on Wednesday who gave us two fantastic performances of ‘Dick Whittington’. Everyone from Nursery to P7 absolutely loved it and it was hard to keep everyone calm for the rest of the day! While we recognise and embrace the benefits of going to the theatre, this was an easy and cost-effective way for everyone to enjoy this experience together. Living in this wonderful city provides opportunities through festivals and our Artists-in-Residence programme throughout the year to experience live performances in more formal settings.

Panto 1Panto 3Panto 2

Winter Windows

It’s congratulations to Michael in P7 who was one of only a handful of winners of the City of Edinburgh Council ‘Winter Windows’ competition! Michael’s design on the theme ‘Festive Welcome’ will be made into a stained glass window style light box and will be displayed in West Parliament Square over the festive period. Please have a wander up the Royal Mile to see it, as well as all the other fantastic designs by other children across the city. As Michael is the first Abbeyhill student (in our memory) to win, P7 will go to visit the window and have a hot chocolate to celebrate his achievement. Well done Michael!

Parent Council

Thank you to everyone who attended Parent Council on Wednesday; we had a bumper session combining the AGM and a regular meeting. Congratulations to the post holders who were (re)elected and thank you to the wider Parent Council and school community for supporting all of their efforts. Most recently, Parent Council organised and run yet another set of brilliant Halloween parties. As usual, the children threw themselves enthusiastically into the spirit of the event and some wild and wonderful costumes were on show!

Switch Off Fortnight 

Switch Off Fortnight starts on 18th November and we’re embracing the key theme of ‘Goodbye, standby’. The Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be carrying out an audit of all the electronic items in their classrooms over the next week, mainly looking for items that are left on standby or left on without being in use. We’ll be bringing everyone’s attention to it from the 18th so expect vigilance in your home around TVs on standby, lights left on and phone chargers left in the wall. Sorry in advance! Of course, the 18th November also marks the start of Book Week Scotland and teachers will be communicating our plans for that once we have put our finishing touches to them on Monday (there might be another photo competition coming up….cameras at the ready!)

Next week

Monday is Remembrance Day and as always at Abbeyhill, we will be marking the occasion with a 2 minute silence at 11am and a special assembly led by Russell McLarty and P6. Everyone is always very good at understanding the solemnity of the day and I expect this year to be no different.

Also on Monday, I will be visiting Ratho Primary as part of my Leading Learning Partnership group where the participating Head Teachers will be sharing good practice and supporting each other with tips and advice. I’ll then be at a Head Teacher’s Conference all day on Tuesday before supporting the authority with an audit on enrolment and capacity planning on Thursday. Hopefully I’ll have time to speak to staff and children in between times!

On Friday Miss Macdonald and the Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be running the Toy and Book Sale for Children in Need; thank you for all the donations that have been sent in so far. I think I’ll get quite a bit of Christmas shopping done! If your child is having a clear-out in preparation for this, please check what they are donating before it leaves the house in case they have got carried away and have something of sentimental value or that you otherwise want to keep in their bag.

Thank you and have a lovely weekend.

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher