Tag Archives: AlwaysOutdoorLearning

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

STEM, Art, gardening, cooking…thank goodness it’s Friday!

Our classes have been busy this week and I was lucky enough to spend a day in P7 this week and even more luckily, on a day when a trip was planned! P7 are working with staff at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on a project based around Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches which are currently displayed there and it was a pleasure to see their own sketchbooks which they have created as well as witness the time and effort they put into creating their own emblems, inspired by Leonardo.

Over the next two weeks, they will visit with P2 and help their younger buddies to make dragon masks so watch this space for some photos!

P1 have been out on the hills as usual (luckily for them the rain didn’t start until after school) and have been using natural resources to help them with their current Maths topic of time. Well done P1!

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P2 planted Mirabilis Jalapa perennials in their own alphabet pots which they had made. Not only will they look lovely as they grow in the classroom but they might even be able to be transplanted into our outdoor planters which will form part of our Outdoor Classroom and Community Garden which was launched on Monday! It was fantastic to get so many parents and lots of really useful suggestions for how we can get started, from landscapers to project managers and practical tips for growing with the children. I can’t wait to see it all begin to take shape and I’m confident there will be a lot of discussion about it at Parent Council next week.

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P3 have also had a busy week as they have made pancakes in the Cooking Classroom which included recipe writing, measuring and munching! (None made their way to Mrs Ketchin’s office I notice…). They even found time to design and make their own wooden boats before testing them in the water tray and YES they all floated!

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P5, 6 & 7 had a visit from Generation Science yesterday and learned all about electrical circuits.Everyone now knows what electrons, atoms and negative charges are, as well as how to build their own ammeter!

On Tuesday I was on a Child Protection course to update my qualification in this area. We discussed some hard hitting topics and examined practice from across Education, Health, Social Work and the Police. Online safety was discussed at length with advice for parents (and practitioners) to think of the internet as a place when you are trying to decide whether to let your child use a particular app, game or website. Just like the real world, the internet is a wonderful, diverse place with amazing things to see and do but also with plenty of hidden dangers that young people need to be guided to navigate and deal with. Would you let your child go to Waverley Station, speak to as many strangers as possible, swap phone numbers and get on an unknown train? This is the reality of what many apps and games encourage children to do with TikTok being one of the most toxic apps available at the moment.

Next week, our Parent Literacy course starts on Monday and the tutors plus teachers are looking forward to sharing tips and strategies that we use in school to help you help your child. We have a Parent Council meeting on Wednesday and I shall also be at a cluster Head Teachers meeting where P7 transition to high school will be a strong agenda item – not long now! Mrs Watt and I shall be holding interviews for citywide Pupil Support Assistant posts and the Abbeyhill Ambassadors will be crossing their fingers that they get a reply to their letter to a local soup kitchen offering to spread kindness round the community.

And finally…

There have been no reported cases of coronavirus in Scotland yet but if you are concerned about anyone in your family, please do not come to school or send your child to school but seek advice from NHS 111 immediately. Do not physically go to your GP. In the meantime, the usual good hand hygiene practices and caution about seeing anyone who has travelled to an affected area will help to keep your family healthy. The Easter holidays are still 5 weeks away but it is worth checking your travel insurance in case you have trips booked to any of the affected countries which you may be advised to cancel.

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

We love being part of our community!

From our new community garden to working hard with our royal neighbours, read on to find out what we’ve been up to at Abbeyhill this week! Our class newsletter went out today and it’s great to read about all the different things going on in each class. Nursery have been taking advantage of significant Early Years funding that was recently made available to each setting and lots of new STEM equipment has been arriving over the last few weeks. Plenty of it has gone into the garden so you may have already spotted it!

Speaking of gardens, yesterday I met with a playground development officer to discuss our proposed outdoor classroom and community garden. Simon Preston, our Parent Council Chair, was also there and we were pleased to hear about support that be offered in terms of building and sourcing the items we need to transform the area on the grass that has recently been revealed following the removal of the thorny bushes. If you are able to join us on Monday for the official launch of the project then Simon, Mr Woodhouse and Mr Hamilton look forward to giving a little more information on what you can expect to see before the school year draws to a close in June. P1 and P2 will both be exploring planting in the new garden as part of their projects this term although P3 is planning to go a little further afield and visit the Rainforest! Watch this space to find out what they are up to as they explore this topic.

If you have our newsletter, you’ll be able to access the official photos from P6’s Burns & Beyond project that I wrote a lot about last month and P4 and P5 have also been heavily involved in live performance this week as they were lucky enough to secure tickets to The Lion King at the Playhouse where they all had a wonderful time on Wednesday afternoon. I spent time in P5 on Thursday and enjoyed hearing them tell me about their favourite parts as well as discussing the technical elements of the production!

P7 have continued to represent Abbeyhill’s new partnership with The Palace of Holyroodhouse and visited again this week as part of a project which will see them create and bind their own sketchbook will be used as the project continues. P2 are very much looking forward to the culmination of this particular project which will see them be able to get involved and explore what the P7s have learned with them as well as doing some sketching of their own.

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Next week, we have our Outdoor Classroom launch and a Generation Science workshop for P5-7. I’ll be lucky enough to spend a few days with P7 so I’m looking forward to being part of the workshop as well as accompanying them to The Palace of Holyroodhouse to see their artistic skills in action!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Hitting the ground running, as always!

It’s been a short week for pupils but the staff returned from the October holidays on Monday and packed a lot of work into 2 days before normal service resumed. We completed First aid training, explored the new Dyslexia Guidelines, refreshed our knowledge of leading and managing trips near and far, attended a cluster Maths event (led in part by Miss Macdonald), recharged with some Mindfulness and had a discussion about staff wellbeing and workload. As soon as the children returned on Wednesday it was back to busy normality with Forest Adventures in the Nursery, a ‘Give Racism the Red Card’ workshop in P7, the start of an Edinburgh University Music project and the start of intense rehearsals for the choir in the run up to the festive season. I had an Abbeyhill Ambassadors meeting this morning and prepared them for a high level of duties next week…see below for everything we have got going on!

 

On Tuesday evening, a group of Abbeyhill-ers represented the school at the centenary celebrations for Save the Children. Along with Ben Macpherson, Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, they paid tribute to the charity which supports children all over the world to grow, develop and become who they want to be – and has done for 100 years. We have personally benefited at Abbeyhill as Mrs Lyall and Mrs El Sarrag have delivered the StC ‘Families Connect’ programme for the last two years which has had positive feedback from all the families involved. Thank you to the parents and staff who went along on the night and supported as well.

 

If you enjoy the festive season and keep an eye on the Edinburgh’s Christmas website to see what’s coming up, you might have spotted that Abbeyhill is going to be part of Community Christmas and we’re very proud and excited to be one of only two schools in Edinburgh selected to take part. Our special night is going to be Thursday 12th December so watch out for more information as the time comes closer. Our choir will be performing and the outside of the school will be transformed with a magical light show.

I hope everyone comes back to school rested and refreshed and ready for a very busy week next week; we have Parents’ Evenings, P1 Open Day, a visit from some Panamanian teachers AND the Parent Council Halloween Parties. Not to mention the fact that most of the staff will be embarking on the October step-count challenge…there’s already a lot of competitiveness coming to the surface between the teams and it hasn’t even officially started yet! 

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

 

How has that happened?!

It’s the October holidays already! Thank you to each and every parent, child, member of staff and community partner who has contributed to a very packed programme at Abbeyhill since August. I look forward to more of the same when we return. We’ve got Parents’ Evening, Uniform Exchange, the Halloween discos, M&M pantomime, Children in Need Toy Sale, P7 Christmas Ceilidh, Family Film Night AND a very special festive surprise which will be revealed after the holidays. There are new clubs starting including an after school club with parents Vlad and Dimitra, as well as an Active Schools Parkour club. Oh, and we’ll fit in some learning and teaching too!

Spotlight on…P1

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To wrap up the term, P1 have been out on a very windy Forest Adventure today and what’s the best thing to do when it’s windy? Build up your tent and see how many you can squeeze in! Everyone came back to school with rosy cheeks and full of tales from their morning out. Well done P1!

 

Spotlight on…P5 

P5 joined in with the BBC Teach Live – health and wellbeing. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to other ideas schools have across the UK on how to promote wellbeing (many may be brought to pupil council as ideas). We took part in 4 activities with other classrooms across the country doing the same – an emotional check in, art of emotions, growth mindset and a mass mindful finger breathing exercise. It was wonderful to see the class so engaged with this, and it will be on display in the upper  primary corridor.

 

Well done everyone! Have a lovely holiday and see you for more when we resume! 

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher