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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
P2 have been perfecting their throwing and catching with precision and experienced success on the basketball court this morning – well done P2! Elsewhere ‘Bob News’ visited P3 to collect their written applications to report on the moon landings. Hopefully they hear back soon! Mr Hamilton has also started the ambitious project of teaching P3 to cross stitch so we’re all looking forward to seeing the finished results!
As the holidays approach, we continue to have cases of Covid across the school and Nursery and my thanks go out to the staff who have worked hard to cover absent colleagues, children who have put up with lots of last minute changes and families who have had a higher than usual stream of emails about changes in school. Thanks also to our Quality Improvement Education Officer, Iain Hutchison, who has provided vital support in school this week. It has been frustrating to find myself in self-isolation yet again with my second bout of Covid but the wonders of Microsoft Teams (something I don’t always say!) have allowed me to meet with and speak to staff, parents and children almost as if I was in school. Hopefully the February break will allow things to settle a little and we can move forward into the spring with less restrictions upon us.
Please remember that Nursery and school break up next Friday, 11th February and we resume on Monday 21st February.
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!