Tag Archives: local area

Drowning in plastic!

Drowning in plastic

(Yes, we did have lots of fun creating this photo!)

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we were inspired as a school to start challenging the amount of plastic straws that we were getting through on a daily basis following our ‘Make a Difference’ assembly topic back in September. You may remember that it all started when P4 brought a small pot of straws to our sharing assembly and told everyone that the way that they had decided to make a difference  was for the 6 children who took milk each day to pour it out into a cup, rather than use the cartons and straws. They then collected the straws in the pot (below). Those 6 straws per day added up surprisingly quickly and we were all shocked by how many they had collected in such a small space of time, from so few children.

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This is what 6 straws per day over just a few weeks looks like

We did some calculations and worked out that we could save arund 1,600 straws by the end of October (5 weeks) if we all followed P4’s example. So, each child who took milk was provided with a cup, cup washeruppers* were duly appointed in each class and we all began the challenge enthusiasically. By the end of the 5 weeks, we had in fact collected 2,312 straws (as we had forgotten to factor lunchtime milk into the original calculation) and we vowed not to go back to our old ways. It took a few weeks after that but I am delighted to announce that Abbeyhill is MAKING A DIFFERENCE to the environment as we have now got an agreement with the dairy who supply our milk (Muller) that they will give us large 6 pint jugs of milk, exactly as you would buy at the supermarket, instead of the little cartons. In the time it took to make that arrangement, the straws kept piling up and we had over 4,000 which helped us create our ‘Drowning in Plastic’ photo at the top of the page. Don’t worry, they are certainly not going to landfill as one of our artists-in-residence has grand plans for them. Come and see them as part of the Colony of Artists festival in September 2019!

We only have 70 children across the school who take milk every day and look how much plastic we’re stopping getting to landfill.  If you’re an Edinburgh school being supplied by Muller, why don’t you take up the Abbeyhill challenge and see if you can make a difference too?

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

*Mrs Ketchin’s made up word of the day

Imagination is the key

What a treat we’ve had today! We all went to the nearby Meadowbank Parish Church for a special concert with Fischy Music and heard the debut performance of ‘Imagination’ which P4 wrote from scratch and recorded with Margaret and Christy from Fischy. P4 (or ‘Baby Alien’ which is their official band name) gave a fantastic performance and managed not to be distracted by the fact that they were being beamed up onto big screens for everyone to see. We all had a brilliant time, dancing and singing along – including the staff and parents who managed to join us!

Of course, some of us had our Pudsey ears on as it is BBC Children in Need today. Mrs Brotherston and Mrs Pender got into the spirit of it as always and have had a bit of extra attention from the traffic as they have carried out their lollipop duties! Thanks also to Miss Macdonald, Mrs Lyall and Mrs Macdougall for organising our Children in Need toy sale yesterday; we raised £135 and all leftover toys will go to a local charity as suggested by Luca as part of our ‘Make a Difference’ assembly block.

Yesterday, I was delighted to welcome a small group of parents for our first ‘Parents Lunch’. It was lovely to have a sociable lunch together whilst giving them a chance to experience what their children do each today, including lining up and being reminded what they had ordered! They gave good feedback on the food and the experience and next time I plan to run it at the same time as the school lunchtime to give families a rare opportuntity to enjoy a weekday lunch together!

On Wednesday, we had our Parent Council Annual General Meeting (AGM) and there will be an opportunity to vote for new post holders at the next meeting in January. Thank you to Vlad who has stepped down after doing a sterling job as treasurer for several years, as well as to all the parents who have joined us and are doing such an amazing job of supporting the school.

Also on Wednesday, I spent the day at a National Improvement Framework conference for all Edinburgh Head Teachers where the new ‘Edinburgh Learns’ policy was launched and discussed at length. Edinburgh Learns encourages a renewed focus on learning and teaching which is the core business of all schools. Although we all felt the pressure that being out of school for the day brings (not least in the mounting pile of unanswered emails!), we all agreed that it was a valuable professional experience. As a staff, we shall explore Edinburgh Learns over the coming weeks and months.

Next week I am going to Buckstone Primary for a reciprocal visit following my hosting a group other Head Teachers a few weeks ago and I’m looking forward to seeing further good practice and having follow up professional dialogue. Back in school, it’s Book Week Scotland and Mr Martin will be launching an exciting week of activities in assembly on Monday. Check back next week to see what we get up to!

Sally Ketchin, Head Teacher

Map making in Primary 1

We were all happy to be back at school today, relaxed after a long holiday and raring to start our last term as Primary 1s!

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We could play outside without our coats on, and were amazed that the leaves on the trees had grown so quickly over the Easter holidays.  We were a bit sad to see that the daffodils had now died, but know we will see them grow again next year.

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by heading to Holyrood Park to finish off some of our work from last term on directions.

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We directed our partners around the trees using instructions to make sure they didn’t bump into anything!  Some of us are trying really hard to remember the difference between left and right.

Afterwards, we had a bit of chill time at the park.

Mrs Pender taught some of us how to make daisy chains.

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Some of us had a good old explore in the dirt!

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Then we sat in silence and listened to the sounds of the park.IMG_2143

When we got back to school, we talked about our journey to and from the park.  We talked about the landmarks we walked past, like the road we had to cross, the cobbles we walked over and the tunnel we went under.  Then we drew our own maps to help you get to Holyrood Park from our school!

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Click to see a bigger image – can you spot the pictures which represent the school, the park, the tunnel, trees, and the lady working on the construction site next to the school?

Spring has sprung!

Yesterday, all the children in Primary 1 went to Holyrood Palace for a spring walk.

We were very excited to be together, and the weather was beautiful!

First we were taken into the special gardens, which aren’t open to the public at this time of year, and saw where the Queen’s garden party is held each year.

We got a chance to pretend to be soldiers looking after the palace.

  We looked out for signs of spring.

We saw some beautiful spring flowers, and got very good at identifying crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops.

Next we were taken into a secret wood, where the Queen has her cup of tea in the morning when she comes to stay.  We were very quiet as we listened out for birds and looked for signs of nest building.

Finally we looked for buds and blossom on trees and added them to our pictures.  We were lucky enough to spot a squirrel jumping through the trees.

We had a lovely trip, and can’t wait to go back next season.

Thanks to all our helpers for joining us on such a lovely day.

Great adventures…

We have explored our playground from top to bottom, so today Primary 1 went on an adventure to Holyrood Park.

We had SO MUCH FUN exploring our environment.

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We stopped to look at what we could see.  We waved at the palace in case the queen was visiting.

The first thing we did when we were sent off to explore was look at this patch of mud.  We realised it felt a bit more like sand.

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We dug holes in it.

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We found treasure!  We thought it might have something to do with Mrs Pender being a bit magical.

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We found lots of beautiful and interesting objects.  We found a stick that looked like it could be a fairy house.  We thought this might be a tooth belonging to a dinosaur or a tiger!

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We dug for worms.

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We wrote our names with sticks.

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We played games with sticks – they have so many different uses!  These ones had magical powers.

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Then we went on a bear hunt.  We found numbers on the trees that we thought might be the bear’s door number.  We made sure that the bear wouldn’t follow us back to school by doing some loud roaring (and hiding behind this tree for a while.)

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We had such a fun afternoon, and arrived back at school dirty and delighted.

What will we discover next time?