Category Archives: Fundraising

Be Kind to Others

That’s the message from our latest block of ‘Building Resilience’ work which we launch with an assembly and then develop into classroom and family activities. We used the book ‘Have You Filled A Bucket Today?’ by Carol McCloud to explore the idea of giving kindness in order to receive it. We watched a great video on YouTube about the idea of a kindness boomerang as well and as you’ll see from P2’s work below, this idea really helped everyone to understand the concept. Each class made different interpretations of how to show kindness and it was inspiring to hear them all at our ‘sharing’ assembly this morning.

On Tuesday it was Safer Internet Day so P6 and 7 had a visit from PC Karen Maguire to talk about the importance of internet safety, especially with social media, and how every online action can have a real life consequence. Please have a chat with your child and make sure you know what they’re up to online!

P7 enjoyed a second visit to McDonald Road Library where they returned their books and chose new ones. They took part in a ‘book scavenger hunt’ in the library and had to follow clues to find particular books. Everyone took part enthusiastically and P7 are looking forward to strengthening this important local link with their next visit.

A small group of P7s also ran a mini bake sale for P4-7 with all the proceeds going to Cancer Research; well done to all the P7s who took part and thank you to the families who supported this.

I hope that you all have a lovely February break and come back raring to go for the second half of the Spring term. Coming up when we return is a P6 & 7 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day and P4 are going to the National Museum to see the Ancient Egyptians exhibition. Read more about this in our newsletter which went home today! Parent Council Talent Show rehearsals will also start and it’s not long until the big day….

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

Stay cosy!

I hope you’re wrapped up warmly as the weather has taken a decidedly chilly turn! Please take care over the weekend but be sure to get out and enjoy frosty Edinburgh at the same time. We’ve been busy in school as always with highlights including P7 and P2 visited the residents at Trust Housing Association on Montrose Terrace to perform some Scots songs and poems. The residents thoroughly enjoyed our visit, particularly joining in ‘O Flower of Scotland’ at the end. It was great to see the P2s and P7s performing so confidently to an appreciative audience. We look forward to returning soon for a follow up visit.

P7s have also been running the Healthy Tuck shop which is proving to be very popular. This runs Tuesday – Thursday with a variety of healthy snacks on offer. Favourites this week have been the strawberry and blueberry cups! Next week, P7 will do a snack-swap event so look out for more details when we come back to school on Monday. On Tuesday, there will a small bake sale for P4-7 which has also been organised by P7, with all funds going to Cancer Research UK. Cakes will cost between 20p and £1 and the P7s will talk about this further in assembly on Monday.

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On Wednesday, Mr Martin held a meeting with P6 parents to discuss their trip to Lagganlia in September when they will be in P7. It was a good opportunity for parents to ask any questions and find out a bit more about the activities that the children will do while they’re at Lagganlia. Everyone is excited already! Please check your emails or schoolbags next week for more information if you were unable to attend the meeting.

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Next week, it’s Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 5th February. We’ll be using this opportunity to have conversations across school on what a great place the internet is, but what dangers can also lurk there. If this is a subject that causes headaches in your house and you’d like to get a bit more information before chatting to your child, have a look on the Safer Internet Day website. There are areas of the site that you could look at with your child, including this Safer Internet quiz which is all about consent in a digital world.

Please remember that next Friday (8th February) we break up for the February half term. School and Nursery resume as normal on Monday 18th February.

Kind regards,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

New Year Resolutions still holding fast!

We’ve had a great start back at Abbeyhill and hope that everyone else returned to work and school feeling rested and re-charged after the holidays. Or perhaps you were glad to escape the chaos of home and went back to work for some peace and quiet!

We spent our staff in service day on the 8th January overhauling our behaviour policy, inspired by the book ‘When the Adults Change, Everything Changes’ by Paul Dix. We’ve reduced our 26 page behaviour policy to a single side of A4 and reduced our school rules to just 3: Ready, Respectful, Responsible. We’ve removed Golden Time in favour of more immediate consequences and have introduced regular mindfulness sessions into classes and restorative conversations for when things go wrong. We’re 2 weeks in and everyone is responding well to it; children are calm and understand the rules, staff are enjoying having chances to strengthen relationships by seeing an incident through from start to finish and deciding on a resolution with the child. We’re working with the Mindful Enterprise and Bright Minds Meditation to embed mindfulness throughout the school and we’re really seeing the benefit of that in the class who have been working with the Mindful Enterprise for a few years. Please have a read of our new policy below and let us know what you think.abbeyhill behaviour policy

We’ve had Generation Science in this week and they will continue to be with us for a few weeks as they perfect their performances. We’re so lucky that they choose to come to Abbeyhill every year to do their dress rehearsals which means that every class in the school gets the chance to experience science being delivered in a fun, interactive (noisy!) way that gets everyone thinking. Make sure you harness that enthusiasm and visit the Edinburgh International Science Festival when it’s on in April!

This morning we had Don from Road Safety Edinburgh in assembly to remind us all to WOW (Walk On Wednesday). He talked about the health benefits for us, as well as our environment and it was brilliant to see so many hands up when he asked how many people walked, cycled or scooted to school. We’ll have our first Walking Bus of 2019 on Tuesday morning next week (22nd January) so make sure you’re at one of our designated walking bus stops by 0830 if you want to take part! After Don left, we treated ourselves to watching the video of the staff pantomime which was a huge success when we performed it for the children in December! It was a special goodbye to ‘Cinderella’ afterwards as Mrs Lansdown leaves us today for Education Scotland. We’ll miss her but wish her the very best of luck in her new role.

Next week, don’t miss the Parent Council Burns Supper on Thursday 24th January. There are only a few tickets left and at £5 for a 3 course tea for adults/£3 for children, mini talent show and kids ceilidh they will go fast so get in quickly if you’d like to go by visiting the Abbeyhill Parent Council  website. In an ‘Abbeyhill Decides’ vote, pupils will choose how funds raised at the supper will be spent. We also have Parent Council on Wednesday 23rd January where we will be voting for new post holders so if you’d like to get involved then please feel welcome to come along!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

A certain time of year is upon us and excitement is building in school! Festive music can regularly be heard, P1-3 are busy preparing for the Nativity next week, Christmas trees are popping up all over the place and there is a general air of merrirment (even more so than usual!) around Abbeyhill!

This week, the Nursery were the first to go on a festive trip and enjoyed a performance of ‘You Choose’ at the Spiegeltent in Festival Square. Thank you to all the families who volunteered to help and make this such a memorable day out. There were a lot of tired but happy faces in the Nursery yesterday, but that was just the staff!

Our Parent Council have coordinated a beautiful 2019 calendar which is sponsored by local businesses and features artwork from every class. At just £6, this would make the perfect stocking filler and all proceeds go towards supporting the school by enabling the Parent Council to help us improve our playground. You can order your calendar directly from the Parent Council who will be taking orders in the playground every day next week, at the school office or online by clicking here. All orders will be filled before we break up on the 21st December.

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P7 spent the day at Drummond on Wednesday at a volleyball festval organised by Active Schools. This was a great addition to the preparations to move onto high school and another good opportunity to mix with P7s from our other cluster primaries, many of whom will be going to Drummond too next year.

Yesterday, P1-3 families were invited to another ‘Sharing Our Learning’ event and it was lovely that so many were able to juggle other commitments to come along. There was lots going on in each class for families to get involved with and our Food Champions also ran sneak peak tours of our brand new Cooking Classroom; the teachers are testing it out next week to make sure that we have all the equipment that we need and if all goes well, there will be some treats to sell at the Nativity!

Finally, if you saw this blog last week or follow us on Twitter, you’ll know that we’ve already made a difference with our request to have large cartons of milk, as we all buy at the supermarket, instead of small individual ones. This morning, our Pupil Council reviewed the engagement with our tweet about it and we are now in touch with Changeworks to see what we can do next. We’re hoping that they will support us to form a partnershop with another nearby school who are campaigning for re-useable bottles…watch this space!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Imagination is the key

What a treat we’ve had today! We all went to the nearby Meadowbank Parish Church for a special concert with Fischy Music and heard the debut performance of ‘Imagination’ which P4 wrote from scratch and recorded with Margaret and Christy from Fischy. P4 (or ‘Baby Alien’ which is their official band name) gave a fantastic performance and managed not to be distracted by the fact that they were being beamed up onto big screens for everyone to see. We all had a brilliant time, dancing and singing along – including the staff and parents who managed to join us!

Of course, some of us had our Pudsey ears on as it is BBC Children in Need today. Mrs Brotherston and Mrs Pender got into the spirit of it as always and have had a bit of extra attention from the traffic as they have carried out their lollipop duties! Thanks also to Miss Macdonald, Mrs Lyall and Mrs Macdougall for organising our Children in Need toy sale yesterday; we raised £135 and all leftover toys will go to a local charity as suggested by Luca as part of our ‘Make a Difference’ assembly block.

Yesterday, I was delighted to welcome a small group of parents for our first ‘Parents Lunch’. It was lovely to have a sociable lunch together whilst giving them a chance to experience what their children do each today, including lining up and being reminded what they had ordered! They gave good feedback on the food and the experience and next time I plan to run it at the same time as the school lunchtime to give families a rare opportuntity to enjoy a weekday lunch together!

On Wednesday, we had our Parent Council Annual General Meeting (AGM) and there will be an opportunity to vote for new post holders at the next meeting in January. Thank you to Vlad who has stepped down after doing a sterling job as treasurer for several years, as well as to all the parents who have joined us and are doing such an amazing job of supporting the school.

Also on Wednesday, I spent the day at a National Improvement Framework conference for all Edinburgh Head Teachers where the new ‘Edinburgh Learns’ policy was launched and discussed at length. Edinburgh Learns encourages a renewed focus on learning and teaching which is the core business of all schools. Although we all felt the pressure that being out of school for the day brings (not least in the mounting pile of unanswered emails!), we all agreed that it was a valuable professional experience. As a staff, we shall explore Edinburgh Learns over the coming weeks and months.

Next week I am going to Buckstone Primary for a reciprocal visit following my hosting a group other Head Teachers a few weeks ago and I’m looking forward to seeing further good practice and having follow up professional dialogue. Back in school, it’s Book Week Scotland and Mr Martin will be launching an exciting week of activities in assembly on Monday. Check back next week to see what we get up to!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher