From tigers to moss balls, a typical week at Abbeyhill!

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!

Have a lovely weekend,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

In a world where you can be anything, be kind…

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…

Budgeting for Burns in P7

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!

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

Welcome back!

Happy New Year! It’s been lovely to have the children back in school for the last few days and we’re all looking forward to our first full week next week.

Covid

Guidance is changing rapidly so please keep your eye on information from the Scottish Government as well as anything sent via school from the City of Edinburgh Council. If you are ever in any doubt, contact Test and Protect for advice.

In school, we continue to:

  • Keep classrooms ventilated
  • Wear face coverings (staff) when moving around the school and if working closely with learners
  • Encourage good hand hygiene for all with the use of hand washing facilities and sanitising points
  • Maintain 2m distance between adults
  • Carry out lateral flow tests several times a week (staff)

We would ask that you continue to:

  • Stay outside the playground, with the exception of Nursery, P1 and P2 parents and carers
  • Wear face coverings if you are in the playground, unless exempt
  • Adhere to social distancing guidance
  • Keep up to date with government guidance around testing and self-isolation

Friday play sessions at The Collective

Friday afternoon outdoor play sessions will continue starting next Friday (14th January) and will be on every week during term time. This is a great opportunity to get out and have fun in the fresh air (with the play shelter as a base), exploring a part of the city which not everyone knows about!

You’ll learn about weather systems and the biodiversity found at The Collective and the surrounding areas. Wrap up warm and stay cosy with a hot chocolate at the top!

School Uniform Bank

Further to Lorna French’s letter which was sent to families on Wednesday we have been asked to share some more information about the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank to explain how this organisation can support families.  More information is available on their website  https://edinburghuniform.org/

Have a lovely weekend,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us all at Abbeyhill! It’s been an exceptionally busy term with lots of challenges, mostly Covid related, and I thank our school community of children, parents and staff for their tireless support and passion for making sure our children have the best possible school experience.

Enjoy your holiday and we look forward to welcoming everyone back on 6th January 2022.

Best wishes,

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher