Category Archives: Primary 2

Haggis-tastic!

Last night saw the third annual Parent Council Burns Supper and it was bigger and better than ever before! Thanks to our Parent Council Chair (who slaved over several hot stoves all day!) we ate a delicious meal of homemade roast cauliflower soup, traditional haggis, neeps and tatties, finished off with fruit and shortbread made by P1 in our Cooking Classroom – with all the cutlery presented in tartan cutlery holders handmade by P2. Tickets for dinner were sold out (as word has spread over the last few years) and we were delighted to welcome even more families for the ceilidh at 6pm. Before the dancing started, we were treated to performances of both traditional and contemporary Scots poems and songs by our very talented Abbeyhill pupils. We had had the dress rehearsal for this in school on Wednesday where every class from P1 – P7 prepared a performance piece with the highlights being P5’s enthusiastic rendering of ‘A Dug, A Dug!’ by Bill Keys and P6’s premiere of the song they helped to write as part of their involvement with the Burns and Beyond festival. £362 was raised for Parent Council funds and this will go towards the creation of our Outdoor Classroom which Mr Woodhouse is leading on. Well done everyone!

Speaking of which, P6 enjoyed their final event of the Burns and Beyond festival at the Assembly Rooms yesterday with pupils from Flora Stevenson’s, St Joseph’s and Corstorphine Primary Schools. The Bairns’ Burns Supper also included guests from the Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Culture United.

Live music was featured as well as Burns poetry, guest speakers, traditional Burns Supper food and the showcase of each school’s creative ideas. It ended with a mass ceilidh with music from a live band and instructors from Dancebase before it was time to head back to school. Everyone agreed that it was a fantastic experience which we were very lucky to be part of (thanks to Miss Stamati being quick off the mark with Abbeyhill’s application!)

P1-3 were lucky enough to enjoy a visit from Generation Science on Thursday and experienced their ‘Get Fizzy’ workshop where they learned about mixing liquids and solids with often surprising results! We definitely have a few budding scientists at Abbeyhill – well done everyone!

Generation Science is the schools touring programme from the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Each year, they run interactive science workshops in schools all over Scotland from January to May and we always enjoy getting fully involved. This year the Science Festival will run from 4th – 19th April so make a note in your diaries!

Earlier in the week, I attended a Leadership Conference at our local Drummond Community High School and heard from inspirational speakers on a range of topics including assessment, middle leadership and Lesson Study, a practice originating in Japanese schools where several teachers work together to develop teaching practice in an agreed target area. It’s something we’re very keen to try at Abbeyhill so it was useful to hear more about it. Most interestingly was the acknowledgement that our young people learning in schools today need to be taught to foster creativity, critical thinking, be able to collaborate and communicate in order to be able to take successful next steps when they leave school and that the age of needing to retain endless facts may be coming to an end.

This week also saw a new Artist in Residence, Anna Danikwicz start work with P4. Anna will work with the class for 7 weeks and is a sculptor, ceramicist and writer so we’re very excited to see what she develops with the class. All the work produced with our Artists in Residence will of course be available to be viewed by the public at the Colony of Artists festival later this year (19th & 20th September 2020). Next week, P6 will be continuing work with Holly McCulloch from the Collective Gallery who we have built up a sustained and productive relationship with over the last 5 years. Check back here to see what they get up to!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

We’ll be doing plenty in 2020!

Welcome back to our Abbeyhill school community after what was hopefully an enjoyable holiday. The days are still dark but we’re drawing closer to spring and there are lots of exciting things to come this term. For instance, tickets are now on sale for the Parent Council Burns’ Supper later this month so please contact either the Parent Council or the main school office for more details of how to secure yours. This event has become very popular and involves delicious food that has been prepared in our Cooking Classroom, ceilidh dancing, an address to the haggis and the all-important Scottish poetry recitals! Poems are being selected this week before rehearsals begin in earnest next week and it’s possible that there may be some friendly rivalry between the classes as to who can remember all their words…watch this space! Vast swathes of tartan, kindly donated by Kinloch Anderson, have appeared in P2 which have been transformed into cutlery holders whilst P1 will be perfecting their recipe for home-made shortbread.

 

Next week, P7 will have a visit from Lifelong Learning Development Officer Alan Stewart, who will help them to complete a ‘Youth Talk’ along with 200 other children from the ’10 Villages’ area of Edinburgh. Alan will talk to them about the Neighbourhood Environment Programme and help them to communicate their own ideas for environmental improvements in their area. This is a hot topic in Abbeyhill, as indeed it is everywhere, so I’m confident that P7 will have plenty to say!

P6 will be heavily engaged with ‘Burns and Beyond’ with Miss Stamati as part of a wider Culture United project. They will visit Flora Stevenson’s Primary and the Assembly Rooms next week for dance rehearsals with the other 3 schools taking part before enjoying a Scottish Dance workshop on Friday where they will create a song and musical accompaniment with the main aim of building confidence, encouraging participation and having fun! They’re all looking forward to the ‘Bairns Burns’ Supper’ later in the month before welcoming international project delegates to Abbeyhill to talk through their experiences of learning about Scottish culture through such an exciting series of events.

I will be attending the annual schools launch of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (formerly known as Imaginate) to get a sneak preview of the festival programme and the opportunity to hear from the Festival Director. This festival gives us an opportunity for our children to access live theatre in various venues close to Abbeyhill and the performances are always of the highest quality. Check back next week to find out which shows we’re tipping to be the best this year!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Drop Everything and #ChooseKindness

Switch Off Fortnight

Our Switch Off Fortnight audits came back from classes and smartboards being left on without being in use seems to be our biggest offender! Each class has chosen a home or school pledge to try to stick to over the next few weeks to help reduce energy, save money and protect our environment. ‘Switch Off Monitors’ have been appointed in each class and they are taking their new roles seriously! Have a look at our pledges below; are there any you could try?

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#choosekindness

On Monday we looked at some of the resources for Anti-Bullying Week and talked about the key message of this year’s campaign which is #choosekindness . This is something we’ve talked a lot about in Abbeyhill this year with one of our favourite videos being The Kindness Boomerang.

Book Week Scotland

We’ve thrown ourselves into Book Week Scotland thanks to some very hard work by Ms Howson. We’ve had DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), mystery book gifts, buddy story reading and the return of the very popular extreme reading competition! I’m not sure that anyone is going to beat P2’s efforts but it’s always worth a try…

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Children in Need update

Last week in the blog I reported that we had raised just under £260 from our ‘Wear Spots’ dress down day and toy and Book sale but I’m delighted to give you the update that after the final contributions came in we reached a total of £328.88! Well done to everyone who worked hard to organise the sale, including the Abbeyhill Ambassadors who helped on the day, and a big thank you to all the children and families who donated a fantastic selection of good quality toys and books.

Spotlight on P1 with Bookbug (AKA Mr Hamilton)

On Thursday, P1 celebrated Book Week by inviting all our parents and carers to come and take part in story book related activities with us. All of the activities were created from ideas generated by the children based on the stories we had read this week. We made unicorn horns from the book ‘Sophie Johnson Unicorn Expert.’ From the story ‘The Station Mouse’ we made mouse puppets and tried to hide them in amongst our cuddly toys (just like he does in the story). Finally, we used plasticine to make all of the characters from ‘The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears’ and then built castles for them to live in.

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At the end of the day, we were delighted to have Mrs Gilmour come and visit us from the nursery and present us with our BookBug Bags, containing all 3 books we had read this week, activity books, whiteboards, magnets and many more goodies. All of the children had an amazing time and Mr Hamilton would like to say a massive thank you to all of the adults who were able to come along and make it a fantastic BookBug Bag event that will help drive the love of reading even more in P1.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

Looking back, looking forward

R2

Thank you to Russell McLarty who led our Remembrance Assembly for P3-7 on Monday. He was supported by P6 who had completed a beautiful piece of commemorative artwork which everyone was then able to contribute to by sticking a handmade poppy to the field. The whole school, from Nursery to P7, observed the 2 minute silence at 11am and were respectful towards the occasion.

Switch Off Fortnight

The Abbeyhill Ambassadors have been stalking the corridors and classrooms as part of Switch Off Fortnight to complete their audit of electronic equipment left on standby and other energy wastes going on in our school. The results will be shared in assembly on Monday…watch this space!

Children in Need 

Thank you so much to everyone who donated toys and books for our Toy Sale and who entered into the spotty spirit of BBC Children in Need today! At the last count, we had raised just under £260 which is absolutely fantastic. A special thanks goes to Miss Macdonald for organising the whole event, as well as the Abbeyhill Ambassadors, Mrs Paxton and Mrs Peters for supporting on the day. We’ll be proud to add our donations to those that are already pouring in for such a worthwhile cause.

Anti-Bullying Week

This week was national Anti-Bullying Week and on Monday in assembly we’ll be recapping class discussions, sharing tips on how to deal with bullying behaviour and what to do if it happens to you. If this is something you’re worried about, please contact your child’s teacher in the first instance. It’s common for children to hide what’s going on, for multiple reasons, but the more people there are who are aware and able to look out for your child, the faster everyone can work to improve the situation.

Into Film Festival 

Lots of us have had the chance to visit the cinema this week as part of the Into Film Festival this week and it’s been great to see the excitement on everyone’s faces as they have headed off as well as hear all about it on their return.

Book Week Scotland 

Book Week Scotland starts next week and we have exciting plans, led by Ms Howson! Look out for book tasting, extreme reading, secret books and much more…come back next week to find out more about what we get up to.

Have a great weekend!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

What a great week! (Oh no it wasn’t, OH YES IT WAS!)

Panto time!

It’s a little early for pantomime but we never let convention put us off at Abbeyhill and so we were delighted to welcome M&M Theatrical Productions into school on Wednesday who gave us two fantastic performances of ‘Dick Whittington’. Everyone from Nursery to P7 absolutely loved it and it was hard to keep everyone calm for the rest of the day! While we recognise and embrace the benefits of going to the theatre, this was an easy and cost-effective way for everyone to enjoy this experience together. Living in this wonderful city provides opportunities through festivals and our Artists-in-Residence programme throughout the year to experience live performances in more formal settings.

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Winter Windows

It’s congratulations to Michael in P7 who was one of only a handful of winners of the City of Edinburgh Council ‘Winter Windows’ competition! Michael’s design on the theme ‘Festive Welcome’ will be made into a stained glass window style light box and will be displayed in West Parliament Square over the festive period. Please have a wander up the Royal Mile to see it, as well as all the other fantastic designs by other children across the city. As Michael is the first Abbeyhill student (in our memory) to win, P7 will go to visit the window and have a hot chocolate to celebrate his achievement. Well done Michael!

Parent Council

Thank you to everyone who attended Parent Council on Wednesday; we had a bumper session combining the AGM and a regular meeting. Congratulations to the post holders who were (re)elected and thank you to the wider Parent Council and school community for supporting all of their efforts. Most recently, Parent Council organised and run yet another set of brilliant Halloween parties. As usual, the children threw themselves enthusiastically into the spirit of the event and some wild and wonderful costumes were on show!

Switch Off Fortnight 

Switch Off Fortnight starts on 18th November and we’re embracing the key theme of ‘Goodbye, standby’. The Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be carrying out an audit of all the electronic items in their classrooms over the next week, mainly looking for items that are left on standby or left on without being in use. We’ll be bringing everyone’s attention to it from the 18th so expect vigilance in your home around TVs on standby, lights left on and phone chargers left in the wall. Sorry in advance! Of course, the 18th November also marks the start of Book Week Scotland and teachers will be communicating our plans for that once we have put our finishing touches to them on Monday (there might be another photo competition coming up….cameras at the ready!)

Next week

Monday is Remembrance Day and as always at Abbeyhill, we will be marking the occasion with a 2 minute silence at 11am and a special assembly led by Russell McLarty and P6. Everyone is always very good at understanding the solemnity of the day and I expect this year to be no different.

Also on Monday, I will be visiting Ratho Primary as part of my Leading Learning Partnership group where the participating Head Teachers will be sharing good practice and supporting each other with tips and advice. I’ll then be at a Head Teacher’s Conference all day on Tuesday before supporting the authority with an audit on enrolment and capacity planning on Thursday. Hopefully I’ll have time to speak to staff and children in between times!

On Friday Miss Macdonald and the Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be running the Toy and Book Sale for Children in Need; thank you for all the donations that have been sent in so far. I think I’ll get quite a bit of Christmas shopping done! If your child is having a clear-out in preparation for this, please check what they are donating before it leaves the house in case they have got carried away and have something of sentimental value or that you otherwise want to keep in their bag.

Thank you and have a lovely weekend.

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher