Category Archives: Primary 7

A day of goodbyes

It’s been an emotional one today in Abbeyhill! I have said my goodbyes after 7.5 fantastic years working as Head Teacher at Abbeyhill and we are also saying goodbye to 3 families who are all moving house and beginning new adventures in other schools within the next few weeks. A lot has changed since I started here in 2014, not least the children. Our current P7s were in Nursery when I began and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow in confidence and character, along with all our other class both old and young.

Despite a focus on moving on for a few of us, life at Abbeyhill has continued as normal this week. The P7s hit the bike trail in preparation for camp (yes, they can all remember how to cycle – tick), P3 looked at gender bias in the workplace as part of International Women’s Day as well as tackling the highest summit in the city – then rolling down it! We’ve also had a clear-out and been able to match lots of pre-loved uniform with new forever homes which fits well with our love of sustainability at Abbeyhill. I enjoyed a farewell party with the Abbeyhill Ambassadors yesterday who do such a fantastic job at representing the school. I’ve even left the bunting up to welcome Mrs Robertson on Monday!

In this week’s update to families, I have confirmed that Abbeyhill will ‘Wear It Silly’ for Comic Relief, knowing that a portion of the funds raised will go directly to the appeal for aid in Ukraine. The school will make a donation on behalf of everyone as well so families shouldn’t feel any pressure to donate money if they are not able to. Everyone can dress up as they like, in pyjamas, a superhero costume, onesies…it’s up to them!

And finally, thank you so much to all of you for your constant support of myself and the school, especially over the last few years which have held unprecedented challenges for us all. Abbeyhill is a wonderful place to be and I shall miss my incredible colleagues, the families that make up our school community and most importantly the brilliant children who I’ve had the privilege to spend so much time with.

My thanks and very best wishes to all of you, now and in the future.

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher 

All together now

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.

Best wishes,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Snow days to sunny days

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!

Homemade hard tack biscuits in P7

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.

Gopal the Tiger enjoyed his holiday!

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!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Busy to the last!

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!

Budding photographers in P1B!

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.

Welcome back!

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.

Coming up

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.

In the meantime, have a lovely holiday!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Back in the swing of things

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.

Have a lovely weekend everybody!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher