Last week went extremely quickly as we had so much going on at Abbeyhill. A packed week culminated in the Halloween parties that were organised and put on by our Parent Council; thank you to them for all their hard work and the fantastic decorations. Never have so many toilet rolls been put to such great use…!
On Monday, a group of Head Teachers visited me as part of our Leading Learning Partnership programme and we toured the school with a focus on ‘How Good Is Our School?’ quality indicator 3.2 (with a theme of attainment and equity). You can download a copy of the HGIOS document here . My colleagues commented favourably on how engaged each pupil was in their learning and the fact that they all knew what they were working towards. I look forward to my reciprocal visit to Buckstone Primary School later in the month.
On Wednesday, our doors were open as part of the city-wide catchment schools Open Day which gives parents of children who will be going into P1 in August 2019 to come and see our school and ask any questions. Thank you to our House and Vice House Captains who did a super job of giving tours, even though the temptation to show off every room, down to the last storage cupboard, proved too much for some!
On Wednesday and Thursday, Margaret and Christy from Fischy Music came in to work with our P4 class as part of the Year of Young People 2018. Our P4s wrote and recorded a song with Margaret and Christy and it was a fascinating process to watch. I sat in with the class for an hour and had the privilege of pitching a few of my ideas in too! The song will be formally launched at a concert with the rest of the school later this month.
On Thursday, P6 and P7 spent the day at Drummond High School and took part in a STEM event (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Engaging with Drummond is part of transition process for P6 and P7 as they approach high school age and allays some nerves for the P7s who have realised just how close they are to leaving primary school!
On Friday, the Pupil Council counted all the straws that we’ve collected so far and the result will be announced on Monday at assembly so please keep an eye on Twitter for the final total. All I will say for now is that we had underestimated how many there would be and the result shocked us all…
Whoosh – that’s half a term (or term 1, depending on your viewpoint) done already! I hope you had a lovely October break and managed to get outside before the cold weather really kicks in. I had ‘technical difficulties’ with the blog on the last day of term but hopefully you saw the ’50 ways to experience outdoors in Edinburgh before you’re 11 3/4′ poster that I posted on Twitter. It’s got lots of fantastic ideas of things to do in and around Edinburgh all year round – many of them free. If you’re still ticking off the activities and you’re on Twitter, tweet us a photo of what you get up to; perhaps it will inspire someone else!
We’ve been busy as usual this week, despite it only being a 4 day week for children. the SSPCA have been into classes across the school, P7 have been to Holyrood Park, we were visited by colleagues from Norway who wanted to find out more about Getting It Right For Every Child AND we’ve had Parent and Family Night! Thank you to all the families who visited us. In the run up to the holidays, P7 were at Drummond for breakfast and a treasure hunt, we shared our ideas for our ‘Always Look on the Bright Side’ assembly topic and we formally opened the P4/5 shelter that has had a facelift thanks to community engagement from Santander bank, led by Santander and Abbeyhill parent Billy McElhone. We shared what we loved about our new murals and our outdoor stage, kindly donated by Simon and James Preston. Photos were even taken by the Evening News so look out for us in the paper (we haven’t been published yet)!
Next week, P4 will be writing a song with Fischy Music after months of ‘auditioning’ in assembly! P6 and 7 are going to Drummond for a STEM event (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) so watch this space for an update on how it goes. It’s also catchment school open day so if you’re a Nursery parent with a child starting P1 in August 2019, please come and see us; our session times are below. If you’re a P7 parent with a child starting S1 next year, make sure that you take this opportunity to go and visit your catchment secondary school. To find out when the sessions are at various schools, please go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/primaryschoolsopenday or call the school.
It’s also the Parent Council Hallowe’en parties next week so please make sure you get your tickets from the main school office. A lot of planning has gone into the decorations so you can look forward to a super spooky time!
We have just welcomed our P7s back from Lagganlia and there were lots of tired but happy faces as they piled off the bus! They have had a great time and it’s been fun to watch their adventures unfold on Twitter. Everyone took part in new and exciting activities and developed new practical skills as well as teamwork and resilience in the face of challenges. Thank you to Mr Martin, Miss McCourt and Miss Chmielecka as well as all the instructors and staff at Lagganlia for delivering such an unforgettable week.
Meanwhile, back at Abbeyhill we’ve had an exciting week too. Primary 1 had their first Woodland Wednesday where they spent the morning in Holyrood Park building slides, tents and making patterns with natural materials before coming back to school and taking part in Loose Parts Play for the afternoon. You can request to follow Mrs Lansdown and P1 on Twitter if you’re a P1 parent (or associated with the class) and keep up to date with everything that goes on through their daily tweets. Loose Parts Play was introduced last year at Abbeyhill and is popular with the whole school. P5 and P6 Play Champions help staff to put it out and away again and for two lunchtimes a week there are crates and tyres being used for all kinds of exciting things in the playground! Our new sandpits, kindly built by the Parent Council, are also very popular and this week some of the children worked together to create a sand sculpture inspired by what they could see from the playground – Arthur’s Seat. We’re so very lucky to have such a beautiful view.
P1, 2 and 3 invited parents and families in for Shared Learning on Tuesday morning and it was lovely to see that so many families were able to make it into each class. With Parent and Family Night approaching, it will hopefully help to give families a little bit of context when discussing their child’s learning as they will be able to picture the classroom environment and learning in progress. Shared Learning events will happen regularly throughout the year.
P6 attended a basketball tournament at Drummond Community High School on Wednesday with the other cluster primaries, Broughton and Leith Walk. The tournament was part of our wider transition work to prepare children for moving up to high school by giving plenty of opportunities to spend time in a high school environment. All the P6s enjoyed the experience of working with different staff and mixing with the other children in the cluster; thank you to all the staff and pupils at each school for working so hard to organise such a good event.
Next week is our last week before the October holidays and P7 are going for breakfast and a treasure hunt at Drummond – check back next Friday to find out more!
P1, P2 and P3 thoroughly enjoyed having parents and carers come into our classes this morning to share in our learning. It was so nice to be able to show off our learning and have you there to support us and also learn with us too. We look forward to being able to invite you into our classes again in the not too distant future.
If you visited the Abbeyhill area last weekend, you can’t have missed the Colony of Artists festival! The whole area was abuzz with bunting signalling which houses were open to showcase a variety of art. I enjoyed a piano recital by two of our P1s, a dramatic reading of Maisie of Morningside (in tribute to Aileen Paterson who sadly passed away earlier this year) by our drama group and finally came up to school for the finale on Sunday; a poem by one of our parents, acompanied by another parent on bagpipes, a dance performace by our P1 and P2 dance club and a reading of a play. I even managed to sneak in a piece of cake at the pop up cafe as well as see all the work that’s been done by our children over the past year. Thank you so much to our Curator in Residence and P5 parent, Iliyana Nedkova, as our involvement couldn’t happen without her. A special thanks also to her very able assistant, Vlad Hasiu, P1 & 3 parent. Colony of Artists is over for another year but it seems to get even better each time so roll on September 2019!
If you watch STV News, then you might see our P5s tonight (or Monday)! Gordon Court sheltered housing have produced a book called ‘Remembering the Fifties’ and P5 have been working on a project with the Citadel Arts Group, interpreting stories from the book through art and dance. P5 presented their interpretations yesterday, following the book’s launch last week and it was all captured on camera for STV. If you’d like to read more about the book and the project please click here.
Our first week with no straws has gone well with all children now drinking from a reusable cup and P7 collecting all the unused straws. Ideas for spreading the word include sending all the straws back to the milk company at the end of our first month (Erin, P3) and sending a photo of all the straws collected to other schools to see if we can inspire them (Martyna, P5). Pupil Council are going to take on an environmental focus this year so it will be up to them to make the final decision – watch this space towards the end of October to see what we do!
P1 and 2 had very successful trips to the Gardener’s Cottage on London Road this week; check their pages and social media to see if they’ve shared any details. P2 told me all about the things they had tasted including edible flowers! These trips were all part of our food focus at Abbeyhill and our Cooking Classroom, which is taking shape. We’re very keen to reduce the amount of snacks that are high in sugar, salt and fat and we’ll be working with the Parent Council and Pupil Council on this project. Ideas so far include ‘trading in’ snacks for a healthier version at a school tuck shop and trying Royal High’s ‘snacks without packs’ drive. Staff have their thinking caps on at the moment but expect to hear more about this after the October holidays.
This time next week our P7s will be on their way home from camp; have fun at Lagganlia P7!!