This week we have finished our block of ‘Making a Difference’ assemblies but we’re far from finished making a difference! Each class was asked to come up with ways to make a difference together and every family was asked to think of ways they could help their community. Today in assembly we all heard brilliant stories of our children helping neighbours to tidy up their gardens after Storm Ali had wreaked havoc, walking a neighbour’s dog, giving unwanted toys to another child and taking a homeless person something to eat and drink. We talked about the fact that although those things feel small, they will have meant a great deal to the people involved and it may inspire them to do soemthing to make a difference themselves.
There are some brilliant plans afoot to make a difference in classes and some that have already got started. P2 have been collecting litter in the playground and after the weather we’ve had this week they have had their work cut out collecting bits that have blown in off the street! P7 are starting a break and lunchtime play programme from Monday which will run every lunchtime and Friday morning breaks. The P7s have a rota for who is on ‘play duty’ and the games will change each day. I think they’ll have to exercise crowd control on Monday! P1 have been looking at food waste and we’re hoping that our school food waste bin will arrive any day now, swiftly followed by our packaging bin.
P4 opened our eyes to the amount of plastic that we’re using with our daily milk and, despite only 6 children in the class having milk each day, they have collected a small bucket full of straws in the 3 weeks that we’ve been focussing on Making a Difference in assembly.
After assembly, I worked out that over the school year, P1-7 use an unbelievable 16,575 straws, all made of plastic and packaged in plastic. So, with P4, we’ve made a plan that from Monday we will use re-usable drinking cups in every class and collect the straws that we would have used. Thank you to Mr Forrest who found enough cups for everyone in a cupboard! Check back in a month to see how big the pile is and what our next steps are…
Don’t forget that this weekend is the Colony of Artists festival. The school is a venue and it’s looking fantastic! Please come and visit us as well as the rest of the artists who take part, including lots of Abbeyhill children! Check back next week for some fantastic photos.
Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher
We have been really busy in P2 this week trying to ‘Make a Difference’as part of our Building Resilience topic. We decided as a class that we would try to make a difference in the playground and do some litter picking to make it a nicer place for all of the children to play in.
We have also had another mystery reader come in to class to read us a story. This time it was Archie’s Mum who read us a lovely ‘Maisie from Morningside’ story. The story was a special book to Archie because it was signed by the author! Thank you to Archie’s Mum for coming in and we look forward to finding out who the next ‘Mystery Reader’ will be.
We have started our ‘Mystery Reader’ sessions in P2 where we have a surprise visitor come into class to read a story to us before home time. This week we had Chloe’s Mum. It was such a lovely surprise and we look forward to welcoming some more mystery readers into our class over the coming weeks.
We’ve all been ‘busy bees’ at Abbeyhill this week and we really enjoyed a visit from Gill Smith, one of the founders of the Colony of Artists festival and Iliyana Nedkova, Abbeyhill parent, our Curator in Residence and Colony of Artists committee member, at our assembly this morning. Gill and Iliyana presented prizes to winners and finalists of the Busy Bees art competition. Winners received a beautifully presented bundle of art materials each whilst finalists got a souvenir poster to display in their classroom. Look out for a trail of bees around Abbeyhill ahead of the upcoming Colony of Artists festival on 22 and 23 September!
On Tuesday afternoon, we had our annual Meet the Teacher event. We tried something slightly different this year with a small ‘marketplace’ event with a few of our community partners in the hall before a short welcome from myself and the teaching staff, followed by a chance to have a look rounmd classrooms and an informal chat between staff and parents. Feedback on the night was very positive so next year look out for more stalls and more time to speak to the partners who help to make Abbeyhill so special! A big thanks to Iliyana Nedkova (mentioned above), Simon Preston, Chair of our Parent Council, Russell McLarty, minister at Meadowbank Church and Scottish Storyteller and Gary Young from The Mindful Enterprise who came along on the evening and of course thanks to all the families who attended.
Next week it’s Scottish Maths Week and Mrs Flowers and Miss Macdonald have been busy preparing what looks to be a mathematically challenging but fun week of activities! Check back next week to find out how it went. It’s also Parent Council on Wednesday and I hope to see some new faces among the familiar ones!
Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher
On the one hand it’s hard to believe that August is over and September is here already (well, it will be tomorrow!) but on the other, the summer holidays already seem a lifetime ago. That’s what happens when we’re busy at Abbeyhill!
On Monday this week the staff began the job of clearing a room for our Cooking Classroom which will be in the infant building. Mrs Lansdown is choosing our kitchen equipment and we hope to order it next week. On Tuesday, Mrs Souness and I met with Simon, Chair of our Parent Council, to discuss plans for line painting on the football pitch and came up with some practical ideas for particular sports as well as some fun designs that might just appear around the playground…keep an eye out! On Wednesday I met with Katie Reynolds from the Collective Gallery to plan our programme for this year which will see the re-opening of the Collective Gallery after extensive re-development. We have been working with the Collective Gallery since 2014 and our current P7s have been involved in the re-development since they were in P3 so it will be a very special moment when the gallery opens. We’re really enjoying the ongoing relationship in partnership with Leith Walk Primary and it’s all a part of our wider Artists in Residence programme which will be formally celebrated at the Colony of Artists festival later this month (22 & 23 September). At assembly this morning, the P6 Play Rangers gave a presentation to the rest of the school about what they do and P5s will shortly begin their training to become Play Champions in the playground; well done to P6s who took part.
Next week we look forward to welcoming families for our Meet the Teacher event on Tuesday which will have a small ‘marketplace’, giving parents a chance to meet some of our community partners. See you there!