Category Archives: Outdoor Learning

Snow days to sunny days

On Tuesday we were commenting that there was real warmth in the sun and by Thursday we were battling blizzards to get to school! P3 made the most of the snow by bundling up in waterproofs and heading to the park which we are so lucky to have on our doorstep – it was just a shame the snow didn’t last long! They then headed back to school to work on their ISS models…check the P3 twitter feed for the finished articles. P6 and 7 also enjoyed heading to the park with the P3s and the importance of warm clothes for their upcoming trip to Lagganlia definitely hit home for some P7s….

P7 they also made ‘trench stew’ as part of their WW1 topic and even tried their hand at baking their own hard tack biscuits! Much to Mr Woodhouse’s surprise, most of them enjoyed the meal!

Homemade hard tack biscuits in P7

Elsewhere, P2 have enjoyed hearing what their adopted tiger, Gopal, got up to during his February break – where do you think he went on the train? P4 have been using their Maths, numeracy and problem solving skills to design different shaped fields for farm animals as well as bringing active strategies into their lessons to help them apply their knowledge. P5 have started a Mesoamerican Civilisation topic and I’m looking forward to hearing their finished ‘I Like Food’ poems after spending some time with the class yesterday while they were exploring similes in poetry prior to writing their own.

Gopal the Tiger enjoyed his holiday!

The Abbeyhill Ambassadors managed to dodge the storms and blizzards and got out into the community to join the Keep Abbey Street Tidy campaign by doing a timed litter pick challenge on Tuesday. They were able to fill half a black bag in 5 minutes which was great in terms of removing rubbish from the street but sad that it had ended up there in the first place.

At the end of a very busy week our new Head Teacher, Mrs Moira Robertson, came to visit and she thoroughly enjoyed meeting children, parents and staff. It’s not long until she starts and she is very much looking forward to being part of the Abbeyhill community.

Next week, P5 are heading out to the Money Museum and we are gearing up for our first ‘in person’ assemblies in nearly two years! Everyone will be dressed up for World Book Day and it will be lovely to come back together and share this experience with P1 and 2 who don’t quite know what to expect!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Busy to the last!

There has been no slowing down for the approaching holiday at Abbeyhill this week! P1 have some new digital cameras and have been practising all week…there may be a few of Mrs Ketchin as I was in the class yesterday and was asked to join in with a few selfies!

Budding photographers in P1B!

P2 have celebrated Safer Internet Day (8th February) by discussing how they use online devices before working on ideas for their own games. Miss Smith is convinced there are some future star app developers in the class! P3 have had a really busy week making props and costumes for ‘Abbeyhill Space News’ and some incredibly detailed work has gone into their Valentine’s cards. Parents who follow @Abbeyhill2026 will also have loved the action shots from the crash mat challenge race that they undertook with P7!

P4 have been in a bubble this week (I thought it was quiet) but have still kept busy with a quick dash out to the playground in between breaks for some outdoor Maths as well as some indoor place value challenges. With hats.

I really enjoyed being part of the audience for the Abbeyhill dry ski slope challenge with P5. Tensions and excitement were high as each skier took to the slope; congratulations to the winners who saw their ski models make it safely off the slope and beyond! P6 and P7 had their first rugby session with Leith Hawks this week and there is some fantastic footage for parents who follow @Abbeyhill2023 twitter feed. P7 have also been busy making models of fighter planes for their WW2 topic, as well as brushing up on their coordinates and grid reference skills using maps of Edinburgh.

Parental Involvement and Engagement

In my update to parents this week, I asked for support in completing the Parental Involvement and Engagement survey. The Scottish Government has asked all 32 local authorities to undertake this census with parents in their local authority area before March 2022 and your support with this would be very much appreciated. If you are an Abbeyhill parent or carer, please check your emails for the link and QR code to get started.

Welcome back!

I was also delighted to say that nearly two years after closing the school gates to almost all parents, we will welcome parents back into our playground from Monday 21st February. This is in line with the general easing of restrictions around social distancing across the country. It will also be safer given the current concerns around road safety at the back of the school that the Parent Council and school are working on together with the City of Edinburgh Council.

Coming up

When we return, the Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be undertaking a street clean as part of our support for the Keep Abbey Street Tidy campaign. They will also be getting opinions from their class on potential playground upgrades which the Parent Council are in the process of applying for funding for – fingers crossed! The Junior Road Safety Officers will also be getting involved with the work the Parent Council is leading on safety at the back of the school and the ambassadors will support them in that.

We will also send out booking links for Parents’ Evening appointments which will take place over the weeks beginning 14th and 21st March. At this time, we are still planning for virtual events.

In the meantime, have a lovely holiday!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Back in the swing of things

The holidays already seem a distant memory as we complete our first week back at school. Thank you to all the families and staff who continue to comply with our Covid safety measures; there is no doubt that the ‘new normal’ has just become ‘normal’ although we all look to weekly updates from the Scottish Government with anticipation as changes to restrictions are made throughout the UK.

There have been a wide range of activities going on in school this week from mini palaces in P1B, inspired by their visit to The Palace of Holyrood House at the end of last term, to mime in drama for the P5s. Mr Hamilton made a challenging ‘cleaning up’ situation for himself in P3 but the space art that was created was worth it! P2 have started ‘The Enormous Crocodile’ as their new class novel and were inspired to start building crocodile traps in the playground with the loose parts play equipment (hopefully they don’t actually catch one). Meanwhile, P7 have been putting their woodwork skills to good use while making frames to create a gallery of Abbeyhill Calendar covers and artwork – well done P7! An ‘Artists in Residence’ project has begun in P4 and the Abbeyhill Ambassadors have been set a Kindness challenge…watch this space for more news in the coming weeks.

The family update that was sent today included information on universal free meals being extended to P5, national entitlement travel cards for 5-21 year olds, Active Schools, drama and two Warn and Inform letters which are also available on this website.

Next week we’ll be gearing up for Burns with lots of practise for our online Burns’ recital which we’re all looking forward to.

Have a lovely weekend everybody!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Welcome back!

Happy New Year! It’s been lovely to have the children back in school for the last few days and we’re all looking forward to our first full week next week.

Covid

Guidance is changing rapidly so please keep your eye on information from the Scottish Government as well as anything sent via school from the City of Edinburgh Council. If you are ever in any doubt, contact Test and Protect for advice.

In school, we continue to:

  • Keep classrooms ventilated
  • Wear face coverings (staff) when moving around the school and if working closely with learners
  • Encourage good hand hygiene for all with the use of hand washing facilities and sanitising points
  • Maintain 2m distance between adults
  • Carry out lateral flow tests several times a week (staff)

We would ask that you continue to:

  • Stay outside the playground, with the exception of Nursery, P1 and P2 parents and carers
  • Wear face coverings if you are in the playground, unless exempt
  • Adhere to social distancing guidance
  • Keep up to date with government guidance around testing and self-isolation

Friday play sessions at The Collective

Friday afternoon outdoor play sessions will continue starting next Friday (14th January) and will be on every week during term time. This is a great opportunity to get out and have fun in the fresh air (with the play shelter as a base), exploring a part of the city which not everyone knows about!

You’ll learn about weather systems and the biodiversity found at The Collective and the surrounding areas. Wrap up warm and stay cosy with a hot chocolate at the top!

School Uniform Bank

Further to Lorna French’s letter which was sent to families on Wednesday we have been asked to share some more information about the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank to explain how this organisation can support families.  More information is available on their website  https://edinburghuniform.org/

Have a lovely weekend,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Festive fun at Abbeyhill!

Our final week of term is upon us! Despite tightening restrictions around the new variant of Covid which all parents were emailed about on Friday, we are still managing to have plenty of festive fun!

Everyone has been busy enjoying the festive season right across the school, from baking to planning a Christmas menu on a set budget, making Christmas decorations and using woodwork skills to create sustainable Christmas trees. Well done everyone!

Christmas Jumper Day

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle Christmas Jumper Boutique, which ended up being more a Christmas Jumper Day giveaway as everyone took the ‘re-use’ message to heart which was fantastic. The Christmas Disco Daily Mile was a sight to behold!

Parties

Christmas parties are going ahead but in classes rather than larger groups; this measure was already in place before warnings about the Omicron variant. Next week we will be extra vigilant with our existing safety measures including the wearing of face masks and coverings, hand sanitising and not having any face to face meetings. Further measures to reduce the risk of Omicron cases will include no indoors mixing of classes for any significant length of time and no non-essential professionals in the school. Although the news of lengthy periods of self-isolation for any households with a positive case is worrying as we approach a holiday that is traditionally spent with friends and family, we would urge families to remain calm and stay safe as they have been doing. We will get through this as a school community as always.

Please remember that our term ends for Nursery – P7 on Friday 17th December between 1155 and 1205, depending on which class your child is in.

Have a lovely weekend,

Sally