While worrying news is all around us, we have kept life at Abbeyhill as busy and as upbeat as ever this week. Primary 1B have set up a garden centre in their classroom and P2 did a book scavenger hunt for World Book Day! P6 celebrated WBD with P1A and it was just lovely to see larger groups being able to meet again like this. P3 shot informational videos of their model International Space Stations and P5 went on their first proper trip of the year yesterday, to the Museum on the Mound. They seemed to have had a fantastic time and apparently it was worth missing assembly for… P7 haven’t stopped (apart from their Read and Relax session) and have done everything from making pancakes to carving out book character potatoes! Thank you to Mr Hamilton for organising our World Book Day events and to Mr Woodhouse who ran a suitably cheesy book-themed Disco Daily Mile for the occasion! It was great fun seeing everyone’s outfits, especially when we call came together for our first ‘in person’ assemblies since early 2020.
Our family update today includes details of our latest Warn and Inform letters, information on how the lifting of restrictions is affecting us in schools as well as details of Easter clubs and wider support for families. Please check your emails or contact the school for more details.
If current world events are worrying your child or family, please consider some of the advice from the British Psychological Society . If you want to do something to help, the Ukrainian Catholic Church on Dalmeny Street and the Ukrainian Community Centre on Royal Terrace are accepting donations for those who have lost everything, as are other Ukrainian centres around the city.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It’s been a particularly busy week in Abbeyhill as staff and children have coped well with last minute changes caused by staff absence. Nonetheless, we’ve still had plenty of time for creative learning and thinking! Everyone seems to be Space-mad as everything from the International Space Station (P1) to exoplanets (P5) is being discussed in excitement! There have also been two adoptions this week, Puff Puff the merino moss ball has joined P1B and Gopal the tiger has been adopted through the Born Free Foundation as part of P2’s project on Endangered Animals, inspired by a piece on Newsround. P3 got busy in the kitchen to celebrate Burns earlier in the week and they all enjoyed their tasters, even after Mr Hamilton explained what was in it! A special thanks to Mrs Flowers for putting together a fantastic video of our Scots poetry recitals from P1-P7; I enjoyed the premiere with P5!
Warn and Inform
Letters were sent out to families of children across the school and Nursery this week. Please check NHS Inform for the latest guidance if you are at all unsure. With guidance changing at different times for different countries within the UK it’s a very confusing time! Please check our Covid-19 tab for the latest version of the letter.
Keep Abbey Street tidy!
It has long been a source of frustration that Abbey Street (at the front of the school) seems to have disproportionately more litter on it than any other street in the area. Some of it is blown down by wind, some is blown out of the communal bins and unfortunately, some of it is caused by Abbey Street residents fly tipping. In the past, the Abbeyhill Ambassadors have done very successful ‘2 minute street cleans’ and we’ll be joining the campaign started by residents to help keep the street tidy. Please support us by gently challenging anyone you see dropping litter!
Parent Council Calendars
Well done to the Parent Council who have confirmed that the final total raised with the 2022 fundraising calendar was £1,096.21 which is fantastic! They have confirmed that every penny of this will be used to enhance the children’s experience of school. On behalf of the Parent Council, thank you if you supported this project in any way. a special thanks go to the parents who worked extra hard on this, offering time and skills – not to mention the staff and pupils who created the fabulous art work!
Abbeyhill Ambassadors have taken inspiration from this quote by Jennifer Dukes-Lee and embarked on the Abbeyhill Kindness Project. Our aim is to look for acts on kindness, big and small, in the school and playground and to celebrate and encourage them. As one of our members of staff said this week having fallen outside school and experienced lots of parents rushing to her aid (thank you!), these acts of kindness “restore your faith in humanity’ and it’s important to raise awareness that most of us are kind and caring all the time.
In my weekly update to families, I confirmed that our new Head Teacher, Mrs Moira Robertson, will start at Abbeyhill on Monday 14th March. She’s very much looking forward to joining the fantastic Abbeyhill community which I have told her is warm, welcoming and a lot of fun to be part of!
Next week we shall be enjoying the video Mrs Flowers is putting together of everyone’s Scots poems recitals in celebration of Burns Day. Thank you to all the parents who have helped their child practise and learn their chosen poem; the Scots language can be a difficult one to get a grasp of! P7 will also be taking a trip to Sainsbury’s on Monday to stock up on supplies to make their own Burns Supper having worked out their budget and shopping list in class. I’m hoping there’s a plateful going spare…
Elsewhere this week, P1B have been very active in their experiments as they begin their Space topic and now that P2 have finished trapping crocodiles in the playground (see last week’s post!), they have moved on to creating their own jungle in the classroom. Watch this space for a photo of the finished product! P5 have been learning about creating infographics based on winter sports and P4 have also been thinking of Burns when they created some ‘Neeps and Tatties’ artwork in the style of their incredible visiting ‘Artist in Resident’, Anna York, as well as creating some of their own tartans!
Have a lovely weekend and please remember that although restrictions are likely to ease next week, the pandemic is over and for now we should all continue to take the same precautions. We still have a number of cases in school and ‘Warn and Inform’ letters have been sent to families in several classes this week (see Covid-19 for guidance). Stay safe out there!
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.