Category Archives: Parent Council

Welcome home!

Return of the campers!

The P7 campers have had a fantastic time at Lagganlia and arrived back safe and sound at lunchtime today (although maybe slightly grubbier than when they left on Monday) and we can’t wait to hear all about it next week. Activities have ranged from bouldering and canoeing and everyone took the opportunity to throw themselves into new experiences. Thank you to Mr Hamilton, Mr Martin, Miss McCourt and Miss Graves for taking them once again.

 

Halloween

Now that autumn is well and truly upon us, you may have seen the posters up for the Parent Council Halloween Party on 1st November. Posters will be going up in school next week so expect to hear a lot more about it from your children! As always there will be a separate quiet area with drawing and crafts for anyone who gets a little overwhelmed by the spookiness! Thank you to the Parent Council who lead this very successful event every year.

Spotlight on…P6 with Miss Stamati 

Following our outdoor activities and visits in September, P6 have expressed their love for nature, and curiosity as to how various natural systems operate. Our first step into Science found us discussing the crucial role of water in our environment, as well as our bodies.

Did you know that about 71% of the Earth’s surface is water (lakes, rivers, oceans, ice)? And that up to 75% of our body as young people (up to 60% for adults) is also water? We were so impressed when we found that out!

The water on Earth is found in three different states: gas, liquid and solid. Can you think of any examples?

We decided to conduct scientific experiments to explore the “Water Cycle”; How are clouds formed? Why do we get rain? What are the droplets of water that are created on a mirror when we take a hot shower?  – These were only some of the questions that led us to this experiment and to the creation of our Scientific Hypothesis: The cycle would not be possible without the sun!

Sun is our natural source of light and heat, through Solar Radiation. The warmer and brighter the sun, the more water will evaporate in the form of gas from the sea, lakes and rivers, and will transpire from the leaves of trees. When the gas reaches the colder temperatures in the atmosphere, it creates clouds through a process called condensation. Too much condensation in the clouds makes them really heavy, which results in precipitation, or else, rain! This rain reaches different parts of the Earth’s surface, and eventually will run off to the sea, or infiltrate in the soil.

We call it the water cycle, as the process begins again and it keeps repeating itself, like going around in circles!   

To conduct the experiment:

  1. Draw your version of the water cycle on a clear sandwich bag or bottle.
  2. Fill up with ¼ cup of water. Seal well.
  3. Place your water cycle model on a window and record your observations over time! To gather more information through our experiment, P6 also placed water cycle models in dark places to observe what happens when solar radiation is missing.

Keep an eye out for our observations and conclusions to the experiment!

 

Parents’ Evening

Next week we will send out the link so that you can book your Parents’ Evening appointments for the end of the month. It’s so worthwhile to take the opportunity to discuss your child’s academic progress but if you can’t make either of the dates, please feel welcome to contact your child’s teacher to make an alternative appointment.

Holiday reminder

Remember that next Friday (11th) we break up for the October holidays. School and Nursery resumes for children on Wednesday 23rd October.

Playing in the park!

On Monday after school, the teaching staff headed to Holyrood Park with Ranger Rob from the Education Centre to learn more about this incredible natural resource that’s right on our doorsteps and how it can be used to enhance our curriculum. A lot of tourists wondered why were walking around with blindfolds on and some ‘friendly’ rivalries were established for a team based ‘Nature’s Clock’ activity and we all came home buzzing with ideas.

P1 were out today for their 3rd Forest Schools Friday and there were huge smiles on their faces when they returned a little while ago! From all the different activities that they are doing it looks as though they should have gone with the teachers on Monday and trained them up!

(Disclaimer – these photos are from last Friday but I fully expect some nice muddy ones from today’s adventure!)

This week, I visited Buckstone Primary School with the Head Teachers from Ratho and Broomhouse Primaries. We regularly meet in this group, as do all other primary HTs in the city, to discuss our own school in relation to progress against a particular ‘How Good Is Our School?’ quality indicator. This time we each presented information about ‘Raising Attainment and Achievement’ (3.2) and it was interesting to hear the different approaches that we all take and what works best in each school. We all took a few ideas from each other and agreed that, as always, it was time well spent.

Spotlight on….the Listening Spot with Russell McLarty

On Wednesdays at lunchtime over the past few weeks I have started to be a ‘Listening Spot’ in the playground. The idea is to have someone from out-with the staff – a ‘friend’ of the school – able to listen to any concerns children may want to talk about. Over the past 2 years I have been keen to help Abbeyhill Primary in different ways and certainly willing to take on this role carrying my ‘Listening Spot’ big umbrella. It takes time to build up rapport, but even over a few weeks it has been good to have some useful conversations and give a bit of encouragement. Where some youngsters may find it difficult to share things which are worrying them the ‘Listening Spot’ may help.

Did you visit…?

Last weekend it was the 14th Colony of Artists festival and as always it was an absolutely amazing celebration of the rich artistic talent that lives in the Abbeyhill area. We are so lucky to be such an integral part of the festival as we have exhibited for 13 of those 14 years and it brings so much to who we are at Abbeyhill. Profuse thanks as always to our curator-in-residence Iliyana Nedkova as without her skill, expertise and organisation we would not be able to have the experiences that we do. Thanks must also go to Vlad Hasiu who worked incredibly hard alongside Iliyana in the run up and over the weekend to produce the exhibits in the school. Thanks to all the other parents, staff and volunteers who helped or visited to show their support over the weekend. If you weren’t able to make it don’t worry, we’ll be back next year!

Next week, P7 leave us for camp at Lagganlia and they are all very excited! Bets are on as to who will have the biggest suitcase and organisation skills are being put to the test as a few have admitted that they haven’t started packing…. I’ve recommended 3 times as many socks as they think they need so let’s see who comes home with dry feet next Friday! All P7 families will be able to follow their adventures through the private Twitter account that Mr Martin and Mr Hamilton have spoken about. Have fun P7!

Meanwhile, back at Abbeyhill the Nursery start their Forest Adventures, P5 have their second attempt(!) at attending the touch rugby tournament at Murrayfield, P4-7 Mindfulness starts again (the P7s will be getting plenty of practice in Lagganlia without their phones), the Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be recording new phone messages for the school phone line, a parental behaviour attitude survey will be sent out to families and I will be attending the Edinburgh Head Teacher’s Association (EPHTA) meeting with a focus on Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. We will also send out the link so that you can book your Parents’ Evening appointments for the end of the month. It’s so worthwhile to take the opportunity to discuss your child’s academic progress but if you can’t make either of the dates, please feel welcome to contact your child’s teacher to make an alternative appointment.

Phew! We’re all off for a rest over the weekend so we’re ready for another jam-packed week at Abbeyhill!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

 

Colony Community

Colony of Artists 2019 is upon us! The festival opens with previews this evening and doors open to the public across the Abbeyhill community tomorrow. Please come and visit us at Venue 39 and make sure you visit the Abbeyhill colonies to take in the atmosphere and all the hard work that goes into putting on this fabulous community arts festival every year. It sounds clichéd, but it really does get better every time!

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Listening Spot

Russell McLarty did his first Listening Spot on Wednesday and was a very popular figure with his umbrella in the playground! We’ll be getting feedback from children on how having the Listening Spot makes them feel so please watch this space to find out more.

Behaviour Attitude survey

I’ve been carrying out a Behaviour Attitude survey with children from P1-P7 to find out what they think is okay/not okay and how they feel about how the way we help them to sort things out when they have gone wrong. My next task is to share this with the rest of the school and design a survey for families to be able to carry out at home. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated so please watch out for this coming out next week.

Spotlight on… P1

In P1 we have started learning our sounds and what better way to learn ‘a’ than getting hands on and chopping up lots of a-a-apples. All of the children were given the opportunity to practice their fine motor skills by chopping up some delicious cooking apples before some of the children got their first taste of the cooking classroom. We stewed the apples with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract to give everyone a delicious reminder of their daily sound.

Have you read…Mental health tips

A fantastic new resource has been developed by The City of Edinburgh Council Health and Wellbeing team which has been shared with families today. Please make sure you take a moment to read the Mental Health ‘Top Tips for Children and Young People’ and ‘Top Tips for Parents and Carers’ which have been written by and with children and young people and give a strong insight into what matters to them today.

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Next week…  is a busy one for us as always with a visit to Buckstone Primary for me on Monday morning, a staff outdoor learning session, our first Families Connect session of the school year and much more. But first…Colony of Artists – see you there!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher 

 

 

 

 

It’s all about our community

On Wednesday, Abbeyhill’s new football team went down to the Graham Construction site at Meadowbank to collect their fantastic new kit that has been sponsored by Graham. We didn’t quite have a full team but once we got back to school and everyone else saw the jackets, shorts, socks and shirts – all embossed with our school logo – there seemed to be a flurry of signups! Thank you again to Graham Construction for their generous sponsorship. Good luck to the team for their first match of the season which is tomorrow; you can follow their progress on twitter @FCPrimary

Yesterday we had our second Meet the Teacher Marketplace event. Following on from the success of last year, we invited some our community partners to come along so that families could have a chat to them and find out a bit more about what they are doing to help us deliver a rich and varied curriculum at Abbeyhill. Liz Hare represented our Artists in Residence programme and gave us a sneak preview of the ‘Abbeyhill through the Ages’ book which will be on sale at the Colony of Artists festival in a few weeks. Gary Young represented The Mindful Enterprise who will begin work with the P4s in a few weeks; training them in mindful techniques to support learning and relationships. P5-7 will have their refresher courses and P1-3 will start their sessions with Robin Harris from Young Minds Meditation shortly. And of course, we will continue our regular mindfulness and yoga assemblies! Gemma-Rose Lansdown came from Education Scotland to talk about our Gender Balance and Equality project and was of course a very familiar face to our P2s who were delighted to see her. Rosie Palmer represented the Palace of Holyrood House who we will partner with when their newly renovated Education Centre opens later this year. We will pilot their educations programmes and make suggestions for new ones. Mrs Flowers has a lot of ideas already! Last but not least, Robert May from the Holyrood Ranger Service came along to talk about the outdoor learning events and opportunities that we’re exploring right on our doorstep. Simon Preston, Chair of our Parent Council, gave a warm welcome to all families, new and existing, and reminded them about all the ways that they can be part of school life. Early feedback suggests that the event was enjoyed and valued by everyone.

Next week, P5 will be heading to the park as part of Archaeology month to learn about Celts and Romans so I look forward to sharing photos and news from what they get up to. Mr Hamilton will be sharing his learning from his course today, ‘Play for Learning’, which P1 are very excited about. With Mr Hamilton away, I’ve had the chance to spend the morning in P1 and we had a fantastic time in the playground making broomsticks inspired by Julia Donaldson’s ‘Room on the Broom’ as well as using Loose Parts Play with P3.

Our first class newsletter will also be shared on Friday so please keep an eye out for more news from Abbeyhill!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Looking ahead…

It may only be August but you have to be fast when it comes to the festive season and I’m delighted to announce that we’ll welcome M&M productions to Abbeyhill to perform ‘Dick Whittington’ in two separate showings for everyone from Nursery – P7! By going a little early we’ve secured the production at just £6 per child which is a fantastic price for a professional performance. Look out for more details coming out soon.

It’s Meet the Teacher next week and I look forward to welcoming as many of you as are able to come into school to meet some of our community partners as well as have a look round classrooms and have an informal chat with teaching staff. Please remember that this is not Parent’s Evening and if you would like an private conversation with your child’s teacher, you can arrange one at a different time. Parent’s Evening is next month and more information will come out about that shortly.

On Wednesday I met with Lynn Yeneka from Education Scotland who is keen for Abbeyhill to be involved in the pilot of a new STEM award (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which would see us working to achieve 5 different elements over a 3 year period. This could fit well with the work we are doing with Education Scotland and Mrs Lansdown on Gender Balance so please watch this space to find out more as the pilot unfolds.

Yesterday I met with Russell McLarty who treated us to a storytelling session in assembly on Monday before talking to P4-7 about Chit Chat Club which starts next week. Russell and I discussed plans for ‘Listening Walks’ which we hope to reveal more about and start in the next few weeks. Russell is also keen for Abbeyhill to take part in the Nativity Labyrinth event at Meadowbank Church again this year and, judging by the success of last year, I think it’s safe to say that everyone will be keen to go!

Meanwhile, it’s the Colony of Artists festival in just a few weeks and final preparations are well under way. Alice Myers was in school this week planning a photography treasure trail which looks really exciting! Please make sure you visit the festival (Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September) as there is always a fantastic atmosphere which gets better and better each year!

Spotlight on…Primary 3 with Mrs Flowers

P3 have just finished ‘Silly Billy’ by Anthony Browne. In the book, billy gets rid of his bedtime worries  by telling his worry dolls and popping them under his pillow. P3 made their own ‘Worry Monsters’ to take away any bedtime worries they might have.

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Well done P3, I think these would sell out in moments in the playground!

Have you read….

…your Scotland 4 Kids magazine?  There are loads of great articles this month including ‘Stop fighting’ (p6) and the WOW (What’s On Where) list for Edinburgh (p14-15). I’m going to be checking out the Batch Lady website www.thebatchlady.com for batch cooking inspiration which you might find useful coupled with ‘Not a sandwich in sight lunchbox savers’ on p6. Miss Macdonald will be interested in ‘Question Time’ (p8) which talks about modern day philosophy for children, something she has done a lot of with her classes. It also helps you to deal with the perpetual ‘why?’ question!

Next week is the Families Connect coffee and information session, Meet the Teacher, Parent Council, the first meeting of the newly appointed Abbeyhill Ambassadors AND I’ll be doing Outdoor Learning with P1 while Mr Hamilton and Mr Martin are on a ‘Play for Learning’ course. Check back on Friday to see how it all goes!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher